Monday, 3 March 2014

Shaw bets big on WiFi

I apologize in advance if the link gives you problems but it is to the paywalled Globe and Mail which I got through a tweet, yet seems to work.

The story is about how Shaw did not go into the cell phone business but thinks it can retain customer loyalty by offering them wifi. You have probably noticed that when your device detects available wifi it is pointing to Shaw Open. In theory, you should be able to simply enter the same user id and password as you have for Shaw email - if you are a Shaw customer. Up until last May I was a Shaw customer, and never once did Shaw Open work for me. YMMV

I do have Mobilicity and in my package I get free data. And I have found that - within Mobilicity's somewhat limited home area - their data is often as good or better than some of the wifi signals I can get. In fact, if the only open network I see is Shaw Open (which I have told my phone to ignore, but it doesn't) turning off wifi often gets better results. I think the way the Nexus 4 is configured it defaults to wifi for data if there is an open network available - even if I can't log on to it. Turning off wifi means that I can now use Translink's next bus or the car2go app on my phone much more quickly and reliably when wandering around than when in range of Starbucks or London Drugs (two I tried recently in downtown Vancouver).

On the other hand our home Telus Optik does not seem to provide anything like the speeds for our home wifi that I used to get from Shaw. I would be interested to read comments from others on their experience. I am currently getting 14.10 Mbps download from Telus

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