Posts Tagged ‘Internet’
With the holiday – and related vacations – right around the corner, we’re getting into the spirit of the season, looking at Santa trackers and karaoke hits. Plus, we share details of our new Internet packages and look at this week’s photo-sharing announcements. Learn more in this week’s edition of the weekend reading.
Tech-savvy Santa Trackers
‘Tis the season for keeping tabs on the Jolly Old Elf, and this year both Google and Microsoft are joining the holiday fun. Google’s Santa Tracker includes a countdown ticker, while his animated village includes an advent calendar with games, a phone call function and videos. Meanwhile Microsoft has partnered with NORAD to create a tracker and countdown ticker that also includes games, movies, music and a library sharing news about Santa and holiday traditions around the world. Plus, be sure to head on over to our Rogers Facebook page to help Santa deliver presents!
Will you be tracking Santa on Christmas Eve?
We’ve upped our internet speeds again with the roll-out of a new Ultimate internet package. We’re ramping up our download speeds from 150Mpbs up to 250Mbps, doubling upload speeds from 10Mbps to 20Mbps and quadrupling the usage allowance up to 1TB! If you have the Advanced Wi-Fi Modem on the Ultimate (150Mbps) package, you can call Rogers to upgrade to the new 250Mbps package for free. You will need our fastest, furthest reaching modem in order to upgrade. It’s currently available in the GTA and will soon be available to most customers in Ontario.
Twitter’s been busy making upgrades this year, and this week, the micro-blogging service announced changes to its mobile apps, including the ability to send private photos. Direct messages also became easier to find in the navigation. The upgrade also ramps up the “discovery” feature that pinpoints popular accounts, tweets and trending topics.
Instagram, meanwhile, announced Instagram Direct on Thursday, which lets users send private photos to friends and groups. The update, which only allows people you follow to send direct photos and videos, is now available for iOS and Android.
Will you try either of these new photo-sharing features?
Last week we shared our holiday wishlist, but we’ve still got more seasonal tips up our sleeves. We hosted a live holiday movie trivia chat where we shared our favourite flicks and traditions and got some great tips from the Rogers Smart Home Monitoring Team on how to keep your home safe over the holidays. For everyone hosting house parties, we rounded up our favourite karaoke tunes to help inspire your soundtrack. Of course, there’s no guest required – you can also just grab a hairbrush and put your skills to use with Rogers On Demand. Find the karaoke channel by visiting Channel 100, navigating to Music, then choosing Karaoke on Demand.
What’s your go-to song?
PCMag.com has recognized Rogers need for speed, ranking us the fastest overall in their Canada’s Fastest Internet Service Provider review. They also named Rogers Canada’s fastest wireless network on a national average.
For wired internet, Rogers had an average 27.2 Mbps download speed. On the wireless side, the Rogers LTE network delivered the highest speeds in six Canadian markets including Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, London and the Niagara region.
PCMag.com Features Editor Eric Griffith led the “Fastest ISP” project while Lead Mobile Analyst Sascha Segan ran the “Fastest Mobile Networks” search. We had a chance to ask them about the tests, fast networks and the growth of the industry.
What factors do you consider when ranking networks?
Eric: It’s helpful for both readers and providers to know how ISPs stack up against their competition. We factor the average upload and download speed into an index number (based on 20 per cent upload and 80 per cent download) to get a quantifiable measurement for all the providers.
Sascha: We measure speed and reliability. We upload and download data, surf to web pages and keep an eye on how often the connections drop or stall.
What were your findings?
Eric: After eight months of testing using our speedtest site, we found that in Canada, Rogers had the highest download speed by far. That pushed its index rating to 22.2–well above the rest of the major, national ISPs.
Sascha: Urban Canada has very fast networks, on average faster than American networks. The three major Canadian carriers have been very aggressive at rolling out LTE and advanced technologies like Category 4 LTE.
Why do network speeds matter to consumers?
Eric: The Internet is getting more and more bandwidth intensive—just look at the traffic attributed to Youtube and other media streaming sites. The more speed a customer can eke out, the happier they’ll be.
Sascha: People get frustrated when it takes too long to get their information. And more and more people are using mobile networks for media streaming, and for uploading photos and videos. Those demand consistent, fast connections to operate properly.
What advantage does the customer get by being on the fastest network?
Eric: No delays—nothing annoys more than waiting. People expect video on the Internet to be as instant as the text they read or the shows on their TV. Only with a high-bandwidth pipe is that possible.
Sascha: The goal is seamlessness. With the fastest network, you don’t have to worry about when and whether your app will download or your movie will play. It just does.
How do you take advantage of the new network speeds available?
Eric: The best way to take advantage of the fastest network speeds: use it. You’ve got a pipe to the single greatest repository of information ever created by mankind. Use it often and constantly.
Sascha: You need a phone which supports a fast network. Right now, for instance, Rogers has three levels of LTE phones available. iPhones have LTE, but they don’t support the 2600Mhz band which supplements speeds in big cities. The sweet spot right now is with phones like the Samsung Galaxy S4, which have that faster 2600Mhz band. And we’re starting to see even faster phones like the LG G2, which support Category 4 for even faster speeds.
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Earlier this summer Rogers announced Connected for Success, a new affordable broadband internet program geared toward getting more families and youth online. Connected for Success will provide qualifying families with broadband internet for $9.99 per month with a usage allowance up to 30 GB, plus access to a $150 computer loaded with software. Today, we officially kicked off the initiative at an event at the Cooper Mills Toronto Community Housing residence in Toronto where families had the opportunity to enroll in the program.
Educator Neil Price attended the event. Price is a teacher in the Greater Toronto Area who also manages youth education programs for the Boys and Girls Club of Canada and leads the Rogers Raising the Grade Program, part of the Rogers Youth Fund initiative. We had a chance to ask him about youth, the internet and what Connected for Success could mean for students.
Why are you excited about this new program?
Connected for Success will ensure that often-marginalized youth and families who can’t afford internet are now given the opportunity to learn online and take advantage of everything the internet has to offer.
Why do you think digital literacy is so important for youth?
They need to be equipped with the skills that will make them successful in our increasingly digital economy. The internet offers such a vast amount of information, and youth need to know how and what to look for to become more knowledgeable, and to learn to contribute valuable web content – all while participating as responsible digital citizens!
How does the ability to get online change things for young people?
Youth who are given new access to technology almost always become more resourceful in their habits, using the internet to establish or strengthen friendships, research and study for school, and more. Ultimately, increased access to the internet leads to a sense of empowerment and inclusion for most youth.
What educational tools can young people find online?
There are an infinite number of resources: educational websites with videos, online courses, tools that can help with homework – even sites like YouTube can help youth develop essential skills in a dynamic and interactive way. There are no limits to what can be learned online.
What other advantages will the internet offer youth and families?
Access to the internet will not only help youth develop skills for the future, but will also help entire families to be more connected to the global online community. It’s going to be a game changer.
While I work in social media (catch me @RogersSarahM) I’m also active on social networks — particularly Twitter — in my downtime. It’s rare to see me without my smartphone in hand.
I’m also a huge fan of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team, so I was so excited about a summer road trip to the U.S. to see the Jays Triple-A farm team, the Buffalo Bisons I wasn’t sure if I could live without my phone.
Normally, I turn off my roaming internet when I cross the border. But this time, thanks to the new Rogers U.S. roaming internet rate, I didn’t have to. For $7.99, I got 50 MB of data for 24 hours. That was more than enough for me to tweet, Instagram and Vine my way through my 24 hours in Buffalo (not to mention use Google Maps when I got lost).
How it worked
My husband and I decided to walk across the Rainbow Bridge from Niagara Falls, Ont., to Niagara Falls, N.Y. Once we got through customs on the other side, I got a text message from Rogers telling me I was roaming and would be charged the $7.99 rate. There was nothing for me to subscribe to, and I didn’t need to call ahead, it just happened.* So easy!
One of the first things I did with my data was to check-in on FourSquare, naturally.
As we navigated our way to Buffalo, I looked up our hotel on Google Maps as well as where we would be eating dinner.
But the game was where I really made use of my data.
When I attend events, especially baseball games, my tweeting goes into overdrive. Thanks to the U.S. roaming rate, I was able to do the same at the Bisons game.
I sent out tweets, shared photos and even shot videos on Vine as I normally would do at a Toronto Blue Jays game. In total, I sent nearly 40 tweets, created four Vine videos, and posted seven photos to Instagram and on Facebook.
I knew I didn’t have to worry about my usage, because as part of the U.S. roaming internet rate, Rogers would send me a text message when I hit 90 per cent of my data (used 45 MB). Of course, I did all my social media activity without coming close to the 50MB — so there was no need for a text message alert! On top of that, I could check my usage at anytime by texting 3330, as my colleague Katie did when she was in San Francisco.
Before the U.S. roaming internet rate, I would have switched my phone into airplane mode before I crossed the border, but now I’m able to stay connected just like when I’m at home. Now I can travel and keep my fellow fans up to date on every pitch, catch and stadium hotdog!
* Existing customers in Quebec and Newfoundland may need to sign up, one time only, by visiting www.rogers.com/m/dus on their mobile device.
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Three years ago you told us you wanted to share internet plans across all your devices. And way back in 2010, we responded, becoming the first service provider in Canada to announce data sharing plans.
Today we have more than one million customers sharing data between devices and family members. With our family plans, customers get one convenient bill to manage, plus unlimited talk and text, and a large bucket of data to share with the whole family. Individual plans allow customers to share their voice, text and data across all of their devices, including phones, tablets and sticks.
While Rogers customers have been at the forefront of data sharing, we’re working to make it even easier for families to share data across their connected tablets and smart phones. Stay tuned to RedBoard for the details and for more news on data sharing later this year.
If you’re like most TV viewers today, you probably catch up with the latest TV shows and movies online through your smartphone, tablet or computer. In fact, our latest Rogers Innovation Report found that more than 8 out of 10 Canadians are logging screen time on a device in addition to a television.
We know how frustrating it can be when you can’t stream a video because your internet connection is not fast enough. And while most would assume it’s an issue with your internet service itself, we have some newly released data that shows this isn’t always the case.
Based on a recent study by SamKnows, an independent leader in broadband performance testing, SamKnows has found that Rogers customers received, on average, 106 per cent of advertised download speeds when our network is the busiest. By comparison, U.S. carriers tested by SamKnows performed at an average rate of 97 per cent during peak periods. In a separate study of broadband speeds in Europe, SamKnows also found European ISPs delivered only 74 per cent of advertised speeds during peak hours.
If you’re experiencing some issues with the speed of your internet connection, these handy tips from Tech Essentials can help you troubleshoot:
- Make sure your wireless router isn’t slowing you down: If you’ve signed up for a fast internet plan, you need a fast wireless router to get all that speed. If you have an older router, data won’t transmit as quickly over Wi-Fi, and you might not get a connection as fast as you’re paying for.
- Locate your router centrally in your house: Main or upper floors are better than basements. Also, position your modem and router away from other electronic devices.
- Beware of spyware: Spyware, malware and viruses can cause your computer to slow down. Install anti-virus/anti-spyware software and run it regularly.
- Choose a strong Wi-Fi password and set your encryption to WPA2: Strangers freeloading on your Wi-Fi may slow down your network’s performance.
- The best connection is a wired connection: Connect your modem directly to your computer using your Ethernet cord, bypassing devices such as routers, to get a better connection.
For more help on maximizing your Internet speeds, visit the Rogers Community Forums, a friendly community of Rogers customers eager to help out.
We’re serious about speed too and our network engineers pride themselves on delivering the speeds we advertise. So late last year, we started working with SamKnows, an independent world leader in broadband performance testing, to conduct speed performance testing based on real customer connections.
The results are in and we’re happy to report that our customers aren’t just getting their advertised speeds – they’re often getting more.
Here are the highlights:
- Customers on our Lite, Express, Extreme, and Extreme Plus packages all received average speeds of at least 100 per cent of advertised speeds on both uploads and downloads.
- Rogers customers received, on average, 106 per cent of advertised download speeds when our network is busiest. By comparison, U.S. carriers tested by SamKnows performed at an average rate of 97 per cent during peak periods. In a separate study of broadband speeds in Europe, SamKnows also found European ISPs delivered only 74 per cent of advertised speeds during peak hours.
- Preliminary data suggests that customers on our Ultimate package also get their advertised speeds. But because the sample size is small, we’re continuing to test with more connections to validate these results.
To read the SamKnows report, please visit www.samknows.com/rogers.
Having issues with your internet connection? Check back on RedBoard tomorrow for help troubleshooting your speeds.
Weekends and sunny weather can move at a crawl, but when it comes to streaming my favourite song on the way to work or downloading a report before a meeting, I’m thankful for the fast LTE speeds on my smartphone. So I’m excited to share that our Rogers LTE network, Canada’s fastest wireless internet, will be bringing its speed to 44 new markets in Atlantic Canada, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec this spring.
Today, we’re announcing that over the next couple months, we’ll be launching LTE in Saint John, New Brunswick; Medicine Hat, Alberta; Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario; Guelph, Ontario; Muskokas, Ontario; Collingwood, Ontario; and multiple cities in Quebec. We’ll announce the other 38 markets in updates to this post over the next couple months.
We’re also excited to confirm that Rogers will be making its 2600 MHz LTE spectrum band available in all 44 markets, and 34 of the 44 new markets will offer theoretical network speeds of 150 Mbps. Rogers has more LTE network deployed in the 2600 MHz spectrum band than any other carrier in Canada.
What does 2600 MHz LTE mean to Rogers customers?
The 2600 MHz LTE spectrum band delivers higher speeds over the same distance, allowing Rogers customers to experience even faster service. It’s like how a train track allows you to commute even more quickly, but in the case of LTE, it means even faster internet for you.
How do I access it?
To take advantage of the 2600 MHz spectrum, you need to be in one of the 2600 service areas and use a 2600-enabled device such as the LG Optimus G 2600 or the LTE Rocket™ hotspot. More 2600-enabled devices will be coming to the network this spring.
In the coming months we’ll be expanding our network to these 44 new markets and growing our lineup of LTE and 2600-enabled devices. Bookmark this page for updates as we expand our LTE and 2600 coverage, or visit www.rogers.com/LTE.
Update, April 22, 9 a.m.: We’re happy to announce we are rolling out our LTE network in seven new markets today, including Airdrie, Alberta; Langley, B.C.; and the following regions of Ontario: Keswick; Hamilton, including Grimsby; Orillia; Stratford; and Ottawa, including Kanata, Nepean, Gloucester, Stittsville and Cumberland.
Update, May 1, 9 a.m.: We’re excited to announce we have rolled out our LTE network to a number of new markets in Ontario, including Chatham; Milton; Sarnia; Woodstock; Orangeville; Brantford; Collingwood; St. Catharines Greater Area markets including Fort Erie, Port Colborne, Welland and Pelham; and Greater Toronto Area markets including King City, Bradford, Whitchurch-Stouffville, East Gwillimbury, Georgetown and Halton Hills. Our LTE network has also expanded to cover Kentville, N.S., and Lloydminster, Alta.
Update, May 17, 9 a.m.: This week we launched our LTE network to a number of new markets including Brooks, Cochrane and Canmore, Alta. and Sault Ste. Marie and Muskoka, Ont. We also expanded our LTE network to Saint-Georges, Que.; Sydney, N.S.; Bathurst, N.B and expanded our coverage in the Moncton, N.B., area.
Update, June 3, 9 a.m.: Today, we’re rolling out our LTE spectrum to La Baie, Que.; Victoiraville, Que.; Saint John, N.B.; Parksville, B.C.; and expanding our coverage in Halifax, N.S.; Trois-Rivieres, Que.; and Victoria, B.C.
Update, June 17, 12 p.m.: We’re happy to share today that we’ve rolled out our LTE network in Quebec, to Baie-Comeau and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and expanded our coverage in Hull; in Medicine Hat, Alberta; and in Manitoba to Winnipeg, Brandon, Grand Beach and Victoria Beach. We have also expanded our LTE network to Grande Prairie, Alta.
Update, July 3, 9 a.m.: Today we’re lighting up our LTE network in six new regions, including Truro, N.S., Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., Chilliwack, B.C., Joliette, Que. Lennoxville, Que., and Spruce Grove/Stony Plain, Alta. We also expanded our coverage in the Greater Montreal Area.
UPDATE, Aug. 9, 2013, 9 a.m.: We’re happy to share today that our LTE network is now available in Red Deer and Fort McMurray, Alta.; Prince George, Vernon, Campbell River, Nanaimo, Kamloops and Penticton, B.C.; Steinbach and Selkirk, MB.; and Trenton and Belleville, Ont.
UPDATE, Sept. 11, 9 a.m.: Today we’re happy to announce our LTE network is now available in Courtney-Comox, B.C.; Wolfville, N.S.; and Lethbridge, Okotoks and Strathmore, Alta.
UPDATE, Oct. 8, 9:30 a.m.: We’re pleased to announce we are rolling out our LTE network in fifteen markets today, including Caledon, Midland, North Bay, Peterborough and St. Thomas, Ont.; Fort St. John and Shawnigan, B.C.; Chestermere and Leduc, Alta.; Charlottetown, P.E.I.; and Fredericton and Miramichi, N.B. Today, Rogers is also the first to bring LTE coverage to Antigonish, Fox Harbour and New Glasgow, N.S.
Update, Jan. 6, 10:45 a.m.: Today, we’re bringing LTE speeds to customers in various regions of Quebec, including the Greater Montreal Area (East), Granby, Lachute, Saguenay, Saint-Hyacinthe and Bromont. We’re also proud to announce we’ve achieved our goal of launching 95 new LTE markets in 2013. More to come in 2014!
If there’s one thing I love writing about, it’s the endless stats that pop up online surrounding how important technology has become in our daily lives. This week we found some great articles that opened our eyes to how much we rely on the internet on a daily basis and what age group is more likely to give up their car before their smartphone. As well, we tell you about a new HTC Cash Back Offer for customers. Catch up with us in this week’s edition of Weekend Reading.
How much internet do we consume daily?
Ever wonder just how much data you really consume in a single day? If like me, you’re in for a surprise.
Internet Service Providers posted an infographic this week that’s pretty mind blowing, considering there are only 24 hours, 1440 minutes or 86400 seconds in one day.
So what did they find? For starters, there are 2.4 billion internet users worldwide. Of them, there are 2.8 million emails sent every second, 320 new Twitter accounts made every minute, and 780,000 apps downloaded every hour! This translates to about 133,333 years online, can you believe it?!
More crazy stats in the full infographic here.
What do you value more – your car, or smartphone?
This answer could likely vary depending on your age group, as showcased by a recent survey from The Huffington Post. According to the survey, “Millennials” (ages 18-34) were the only group to put their mobile device needs before that of transportation.
That being said, they were also the more conscious of the groups to make an effort to utilize things such as public transit, carpooling, and walking or biking. With so many alternatives, it’s easier to see why 30% were more willing to give up their car before their smartphone.
How do you feel about the results? Are you a “millennial” who passionately stands by your device? Or in another age bracket who defies the stats and would sacrifice your vehicle for your smartphone? I think no matter what demographic you fall into, it’s a tough decision. As one of our previous Rogers Innovation Reports indicated, 4% of Canadians would be willing to sacrifice bathing to keep their internet – maybe it’s not such a difficult choice after all! What do you think?
HTC One awards and promo offers
Those of you looking to upgrade to the new HTC One couldn’t have picked a better time! After winning “Best New Mobile Handset, Device or Tablet” at the Mobile World Congress, HTC decided to supply a $100 (CDN) credit to HTC customers who trade in their older HTC model to purchase the HTC One.
For a limited time, customers can register for the HTC Cash Back Offer, purchase and activate a new HTC One before March 31, 2013 then send in their old phone with proof of purchase of their new phone. HTC will then send a Prepaid VISA card worth minimum $100 (CDN) in value! Full details on the phone and HTC Cash Back Offer available here. A fantastic offer for a fantastic device!
Kelly is a regular Redboard contributor.