This organization started out as the Rogers @Home Users' Association. The RHUA was formed at the end of 1998 with several intents and objectives in mind. First and foremost, we just wanted better peformance from our cablemodem service, known as Rogers@Home. At the time, with perhaps forty to fifty thousand subscribers across Canada, the service just about collapsed. Performance was akin to an overloaded dialup service, complete with 400+ millisecond ping times and snail-paced downloads to anywhere off of the @Home backbone. At the same time, technical support telephone wait times were in excess of 45 minutes on average and e-mail support was practically nonexistent. What was worse was that no one from either Rogers or AtHome would acknowledge that our service was in any way flawed, much less on the brink of functioning. Many of our members spent countless hours waiting on hold to speak with technical support reps who could not tell them any more than they already knew. Something had to give.
Things actually improved after six weeks of this non-service and the RHUA was created shortly thereafter. Before the group was conceived of, we were just a bunch of extremely frustrated subscribers sharing our service-related stories in the various rogerswave.* and athome.discussion* newsgroups. After Rob Mitzel came along with a plan and a means for organizing our efforts in a more formal manner, we had a mailing list, a website and a collective voice to further our cause for obtaining better service. And that's when we really started getting our word out.
Soon enough, discussions with management were taking place, press attention was garnered and a couple of face-to-face meetings occurred between group member Chris Weisdorf and several senior management officials from Rogers Cable and Rogers@Home. Reports of the results of those meetings can be found here and here.
After several months of communication with management, things began to improve and progress was finally made. There are still periods where one or more components of the service will deteriorate, but things are better than they were before. We exist to ensure everything stays that way.
On March 16th of 2001, a major organizational change took place that saw the Rogers @Home Users' Association become what it is now, the Residential Broadband Users' Association. Please see our official announcement of the creation of the RBUA. This change reflects the fact that a good portion of our members are subscribers to broadband internet services other than Rogers@Home. It also expresses our hope for expansion, so that we may be in a position to serve more broadband internet service subscribers who are in need of our assistance. The users that we may soon represent, could come from either the cablemodem, DSL (digital subscriber line), two-way satellite, or two-way wireless spaces- potentially in both Canada and the US. We are the largest organization of our kind in all of North America and are aware of large numbers of subscribers who need help exposing problems with their respective services. This is certainly a lofty aim and, as such, we intend to proceed at reasonable pace in our expansion. After being in existence for more than 2 years now, we shall continue to focus on Canadian cablemodem services and start to branch out as opportunities arise.
Today, the spirit of our original intents and wishes still stands just as it did upon the birth of our former association, the RHUA. We intend, through our communications with management and the media, to influence positive developments within our service that will benefit subscribers everywhere.
As regular subscribers to broadband internet services coming from all walks of life, we are here to help YOU, our fellow subscribers, in any way that we can.
The Residential Broadband Users' Association has many objectives, amongst which the following are of paramount importance:
Chris Weisdorf: Chris has been with the RHUA/RBUA since its outset and has remained a subscriber of the Rogers@Home service since October of 1998. In May of 2000 he was elected President of the organization succeeding Rob Mitzel, founder of the group, for the position. He has also served as Technical Director and the GTA's Regional Representative since the first quarter of 1999. Chris is a Telecom Consultant in the downtown Toronto area and currently writes a regular column for Cablecaster Magazine, which addresses technical issues within the consumer sphere.
Buzz Haze: Buzz is the Ottawa Regional Rep for the RHUA/RBUA. He's a local musician and computer enthusiast. He started using the Rogers WAVE service (precursor to Rogers@Home) in 1997, and was a beta tester for Rogers@Home. Just as many other members of ours, he has been part of the RHUA/RBUA since its inception. Buzz was known as one of the original "troublemakers" to customer support, and still holds the record for "credits for downtime".
Scott Brown: Scott is the Southwestern Ontario Regional Rep for the RHUA/RBUA, and one of our Webmasters. Scott has been in the systems development side of the computer industry for nearly 20 years, and remembers with pride his first 75bps "screaming fast" modem. As a Rogers@Home subscriber since the middle of 1998, he enjoys this new "screaming fast" service (which thankfully doesn't scream in his ears), and while he has seen more than his share of service irregularities, he hopes his involvement with the RHUA/RBUA will help prevent others from having to deal with the same.
Deb Cormier: Deb has been a member of the RHUA/RBUA since early 1999 and a subscriber to the @Home service since April of 1998. She has been active in the @Home newsgroups since the beginning, helping Buzz to attain his "trouble maker" status. She was also on that list voicing her opinions loud and clear when the service was less than adequate. She is currently a Systems and Networking Co-ordinator in the automotive industry and resides in the Durham region of Ontario. She also designs all of our graphics and is active in the creation of our website.
Ken Moren Ken has been a RHUA/RBUA member since June '99 after making contact while in a dispute with Rogers over being forced into the @Home camp. With over 20 years experience in the high-tech sector, he has spent the last five in Internet systems administration and has been a "Wave" user since its inception in the Vancouver area nearly four years ago.
Additional members will be added soon.