From the “Awesome” department is the National Capital Freenet. I signed up with them for a DSL Internet connection this past summer and have had zero complaints.

Look at all the goodness:

Since the NCF is non-profit, they charge what it costs them to operate.

If you’ve got a land line, the charge for DSL is $29.99 per month for up to 5 Mb down, 800 Kb up, and a 200GB monthly cap. For the same price Bell will lavish you with 1/14th the speed, 500 Kb, and a 2 GB cap. Golly, thanks Bell!

The Bell plan most similar to the NCF’s only plan will run you $49.99 per month. The closest Rogers plan is $44.95 per month. Both of these offer 7 Mb download speeds and a 60 GB monthly bandwidth cap.

The NCF doesn’t promise you a large bandwidth allowance and then restrict what you can do with it to cut their costs.

Bell and Rogers will shut you down if you run a server. The NCF has no problem with you running a server. Similarly, the NCF not only allows you to share your connection with your neighbours, they encourage it, whether you want to split the monthly cost or just be generous. Neither Bell nor Rogers would look kindly on this practice.

The NCF doesn’t jerk their customers around.

They’re very upfront about having a maximum bandwidth allowance, what happens if you exceed it, and provide a page displaying how much you’ve used. Bell makes you dig for the actual size of the cap while Rogers has surprised me by putting it right out in the open. When I was with Rogers, they wouldn’t even tell you what the cap size was, but they would certainly send out notices with the joyous news that you were using too much bandwidth and were at risk of being cut off.

And speaking of bandwidth, the reason for the NCF love this time is they’ve increased their bandwidth cap to 200 GB per month, up from 30 GB. Even Bell’s most expensive plan allows you to use only 100 GB per month. Granted their fastest plan offers a 16 Mb connection, three times faster than the NCF connection, but it’ll also cost you more than three times as much, $97.95 per month, all for half the monthly bandwidth.

The only real downside to the NCF is they will not rent you an ADSL modem. You must buy one from them or someone else. The good news is because people are signing up, they can get a better deal on the modems. They’ve just dropped prices 15%. Their basic model is $85.