I signed up for a cable internet LITE service (3 Mbps download / 256 Kps upload) with 300 GB usage cap for the purpose of testing it with the TFC The Filipino Channel IPTV service aka TFCko or TFC on Demand. The download speed is 3 Mbps which is more than enough for the minimum speed requirement for TFC and still more than the TFC recommended speed of 2 Mbps. I am testing this because it could be a cost effective alternative to the expensive Rogers cable internet service here in Toronto. Hopefully, as another alternative to other provinces as well such as Shaw in BC and Alberta, Videotron in Quebec and other major cable companies out there. In this review, I will only focus on reviewing the cable internet LITE for Toronto. I believe my review should apply to cable internet LITE. The internet service costs me only $27.95/m plus tax. I had to pay for setup fee of $25 (normally $45 but $20 less since I bought the modem from them as well), $75 for the modem and $10 for shipping. As many High Speed ISP out there, I have to prepay the first month and it cost me a total of approximately $156 for my first payment in my credit card. So, it was still a bargain considering how much I would be paying if I get it from Rogers. I could have saved more if I tried to look for a cheaper supported modem but I rather not go through the hassle. I also, do not like to be tied in a long contract so I have to choose this way to do the test just in case the service does not pan out.
Cable internet LITE proved to be perfect for TFC, The Filipino Channel IPTV service. Most common complaint of TFC subscriber is the infamous TFC buffering … with cable internet lite, it almost never had any TFC buffering. However, when I connected the TFC wireless ( I had the old silver TFC box), the buffering starts to occur more frequently. I wired it back to the router and buffering stopped immediately. I reconfigured TFC box again to wireless and after a while buffering starts to occur. Wire it back, then no buffering. I played with the configurations and I found out the the network lag between the wireless router and TFC box caused the issue. When I connected my wireless router to my other high speed DSL service (5 Mbps download / 640 Kbps upload), the buffering did not occur. This lead me to believe that it has to do with the upload network lag, I can discuss the importance of upload speed later or on another post. In any case, I did further testings and cable internet LITE did not do well with TFC when it connected wireless. In any case, ABSCBN, TFC broadcast provider and owner, does not support using wireless configuration so I this is non-issue. I ended up using wired connection to TFC or something hybrid wireless connection (I will discuss on another post).
My tests of the cable internet LITE was not over, I was to really make sure that it works well with TFC. So, I connected it wired since then and everything were working fine for hours or even days. One day, I decided that to route all other traffic to my Local Area Network (LAN) to the cable internet LITE service. At first, everything seems to be fine but later I started seeing slow performance on my browsing and a little extra TFC buffering occuring. With TFC and heavy load, I run speedtest and found out that download speed has considerably went down. However, I was happy to say that buffering was lesser compared when it was configured to use wireless. What I noticed most is that I was having problems with my VOIP phones. Voip phones needs 100 Kbps to have a good connection but with the number of the connections and TFC, it started to degrade. I had several VOIP phone and they are very important to my work and business so I cannot sacrifies its performance. I immediately change it to my DSL and service was great again. However, I did not leave it there. I removed my LAN back to DSL internet service and left one of my VOIP service with TFC on cable internet LITE service. Once again, TFC service was not buffering and one VOIP phone had no problem at all. I added another VOIP phone. Using the VOIP phones at the same time, the performance deteriorate as expected though TFC buffering were very minimal. It just make sense, since now both VOIP phones require a 100 Kbps, together would be 200 Kbps. I think if I upgrade to cable internet EXPRESS (10 Mbps download / 512 Kbps upload), those problem should go away with VOIP but this is not about them but of TFC.
In conclusion, cable internet LITE is just perfect for TFC The Filipino Channel IPTV service when it used for its sole purpose and with minimal internet activities (browsing and one VOIP service). This is really good for TFC subscribers since it has a lot of usage cap compared to Rogers or big cable internet providers out there who could charged from $1.99 to $5.99 per Gig on excess of their allowable usage. There are UNLIMITED Internet out there, the fact you are reading this article, then you know you could be needing one. Unlimited internet is perfect but they could cost a little extra though better than the alternative – Rogers cable. Anyway, for those cost sensitive TFC subscribers, I suggest to start with 300 G usage cap. It is far more than enough for TFC. If ever, one should exceed this then it is an easy upgrade to UNLIMITED internet service. I hope this review will be useful to others specially for TFC users who are paying too much for their internet service.