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Summary:

If you find you just can’t get a fast enough Internet connection, you might want to look for an apartment in Vancouver, British Columbia — a local ISP there named Novus says it will soon launch the continent’s fastest Internet service, offering 200 megabits per second.

If you find you just can’t get a fast enough Internet connection, you might want to look for an apartment in Vancouver, British Columbia — a local ISP there named Novus says it will soon launch the continent’s fastest Internet service, offering 200 megabits per second. Unfortunately, the company’s service only covers certain apartment and condo buildings.

As DSL Reports notes, Novus (which is backed by Terry Hui, chief executive officer of B.C. real estate developer Concord Pacific) and Calgary, Alberta-based broadband provider Shaw have been engaged in a race to see who can provide the fastest connection for the lowest price.

After Novus started promoting super high-speed service to certain buildings in Vancouver, Shaw began offering its Vancouver customers dramatically cheaper deals on access, such as 15 megabit-per-second service with a 100 gigabyte cap for just C$9.95 ($9.38), something that would normally cost as much as C$60 a month from some providers.

The two companies have also been at each other’s throats in the courts, with repeated claims and counterclaims about marketing statements, culminating in a defamation lawsuit by Shaw related to some marketing material produced by Novus. So it’s not just mobile broadband providers like AT&T and Verizon that are duking it out to see who can claim they are the fastest/most reliable, etc.

The sign of a truly competitive market? Perhaps. Some broadband providers have criticized such speed contests as a marketing stunt — including Verizon, who called an announcement from Virgin about 101 Mbps service a “parlor trick.” I know one thing for sure: I wish I lived in Vancouver right now — 200 Mbps would totally rock.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user cod_gabriel

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  1. Hopefully one day the net will be like this for all of us. I have just spent 10 years living in a place where over 50% of homes were still on 56k dial up.

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  2. Novus and Shaw are going at it in most of downtown Vancouver. Great speed/price and great for consumers in the short term. In the long term, does Novus have the deep pockets to keep up with Shaw’s ability to cross subsidize from their other markets?

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    1. That’s a good question, Gary — I guess we will find out :-)

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  3. It is about time that competition is going to benefit us, the consumers! Canada is a great country that runs far behind other countries when talking about internet connections. These high speed connections have been available in Europe already for a long time…. Cap-less and dirt cheap too!

    It is crazy, that here in Toronto, I’m still stuck paying $ 55 for a 10Mb line with a 95Gb cap. Competition between companies is good for the consumer? Right…not here in Ontario!

    Ps. Sorry for the rant…. but this topic drives me nuts!

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  4. i’ve been a novus customer for 3 years now and it is miles ahead of shaw in terms of speed and service. i regularly can get 2MB/s+ on my torrent downloads. shaw couldn’t pay me enough to go back to their shitty service.

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  5. [...] A festival of corporate greed from Green Left Games will be gayest Olympics ever from Alternet Got a need for Internet speed? Move to Vancouver from GigaOm When snow melts: Vancouver’s Olympic crackdown by Dave Zirin Olympic organizers [...]

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  6. I subscribe to Novus’ SOHO 40 which is a synchronous 40 Mb/s up and down connection. It costs $179/month. I’m sure the 200 Mb/s package is expensive!

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  7. I have a friend who lives in Romania and he showed me his internet service contract. I was amazed!!! 100 mbps == $40/month.

    I never heard before of Ilink Telecom fom Romania !!, but now I know and I am frustrated!! why do we have so low internet speed…?!

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  8. I thought when I first saw you article that someone is really hooked on the internet! –And it’s also reminded me of what a colleague told me some time back when the internet was first starting to avoid it & not spend too much time living there unless you are trying to help people get off. –e

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