Got a Need for Internet Speed? Move to Vancouver

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 (S t) and Verizon (s vz) 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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