In this article, we dig into PCMag’s 2023 Best Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Nova Scotia to determine who is best overall and in four categories. Thanks to their new methodology, PCMag are no longer looking just at who’s the fastest – they’re also considering customer satisfaction, coverage, and price. That allows them to form a more comprehensive view of Canadian ISPs and how they work in the real world for real customers. The more in-depth methodology has also allowed them to break the figures down by province.
- Bell Canada
- City Wide Communications
Bell Canada is by far and away the best ISP in Nova Scotia. It is the fastest provider, with the best prices. It is a little let down by its coverage. It only covers 70% of the province, so rural residents might need to look at Xplore (100% coverage), or City Wide Communications and Bell DSL, which provide 80% coverage. Eastlink does have a slightly higher customer satisfaction rating, but Bell Canada has the best combination.
If we look into the data in more detail, we can see that 10 ISPs met the criteria for inclusion on the list, but only five provided more than just speed test details. The speed test reveals come big differences between ISPs, too. Bell Canada provides by far and away the fastest service, with a median speed of 212.2. The next fastest service, Eastlink, gets a median speed of 82.3, and City Wide Communications comes in third with a median speed of 71.4. At the other end, Bell DSL provides a median speed of 5.0, and Bell Mobility has a speed of 10.1. Of the companies that provided the data, all cover at least 70% of Nova Scotia. Xplore covers 100% of the province, while Bell Canada and Bell DSL tie for second place, covering 84%. City Wide Communications covers 75% of the province, and Eastlink covers 70%. Prices show a wide variation.
The cheapest, Bell Canada, charges on average $0.03 per Mbps, and Eastlink and City Wide Communications charge $0.09 and $0.10, respectively. Xplore is much more expensive, with an average rate of $1.20, and Bell DSL is the most expensive at $2.00. Only three ISPs received customer service ratings, and they are all very good. Eastlink gets the best rating, 7.3 out of 10, and Bell Canada and Bell DSL both received 7.2.
Often, major national ISPs have a substantial edge owing to their amalgamation of extensive coverage, brand recognition, and pricing strategies. However, as we delve deeper into the categories, especially in terms of speed and customer satisfaction, smaller companies like Eastlink and City Wide Communication can exceed national providers in certain areas. The ‘optimal’ ISP is the one that most precisely aligns with a customer’s specific requirements, be it personalized service, high-speed connectivity, or exceptional value. These rankings further simplify the process for consumers, making it even more straightforward to identify the ideal ISP that suits their needs.