Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

 
 

Competing Internet service overdue

 


I subscribe to Alaska Power and Telephone’s Internet service at the 1 MB rate with a maximum data transfer of 30 gigabytes. It’s expensive, and if I exceed 30 GB/month I pay a penalty. When my service is slow, which happens every so often, I call their technicians. They’re always friendly, but I’m offered the same explanation every time: My slow speed is due to too much line traffic down south. If that’s the case, and I’m willing to take AP&T at its word, I don’t actually have a 1 MB service.

I should be charged at the 1 MB rate on the days AP&T in fact delivers that speed. If my service is slow five days in a month, which I have verified by speed tests on their website, my bill for the month should go down proportionately. Similarly, setting base/maximum data transfer limits may be good for the company, but it isn’t fair to me as a consumer. They automatically monitor my usage every day – why shouldn’t I simply pay for the data I transfer each month, whether it is 1 GB or 100 GB? Why should I be charged for 30 GB every month when some months I only use 20 GB, but if the next month I use 31 GB I get slapped with a penalty?

AP&T doesn’t have a monopoly to provide Internet service, as they do for power and phone. Another company, or the borough, could compete for that service. Some competition in the marketplace would seem to be overdue.

Gershon Cohen