The Life without Internet: We Cancelled Home Internet with Bell Canada

Last month, we cancelled the contract of the internet for our apartment in Montreal with one of the major telecommunication companies, called Bell. We had paid about $79.28 Canadian dollars included tax per month with unlimited internet. It is the internet at home in Montreal where we stay during weekdays.

Because we spend time during weekends in the country house, which is located 100km away from Montreal, we have a contract of the internet with another company for the country house where Bell doesn’t provide their service. It costs a little less in terms of the monthly payment, but it is limited, and the connection is not stable because it is via a satellite).

I am a freelance writer, so I must have an internet connection for my work. However, I was fed up with the prices of the internet here for two houses and I was never fully satisfied with their services. I hadn’t paid that much money to get home internet in Asia where I used to live and I don’t think my family are paying that much for the unlimited internet in their apartment in Japan.

I don’t understand why the internet is so expensive in this country, even though I can imagine that it is not always easy to maintain the infrastructure in a big country like Canada. Still, I cannot stop feeling that we are being ripped off (or is it only in Quebec?). It was not cheap, but the service was not perfect either: I often lost the connection at home, several times a day on the worst day.

There was a discussion between my boyfriend and me. The internet in Montreal cost nearly 80 dollars, but we are not always in the city, or even in this country. He travels three times per year and so do I. We are away for about twelve weeks in total per year, and we are in Montreal only four days a week.

4 days×(52*-12 weeks)=160 days
$ 80×12 months÷160 days=$ 6
*1 year has 52 weeks

Therefore, the home internet in Montreal costs us six dollars per day. It’s ridiculous! The other day, I paid four dollars including tips for a cup of Americano in the nearest café from our apartment just around the corner where I could use free Wi-Fi. If you pay seven dollars, you may have a decent draft beer including the internet connection at a bar nearby.

The only downside of losing the internet is that my boyfriend wants to watch football games online, but he can watch the games in the country house most of the time.

Last year, we spent one week in an isolated island called Hatta in Indonesia where people can have only four hours of electricity per day. There was no internet, needless to say. When they want to get an internet connection, they need to travel to the bigger island by boat which takes them one hour to get to, and they cannot sail when it’s bad weather. Without the internet, we enjoyed snorkelling or swimming, walking around the small island when the weather was good, and I was writing at other times.

This October I went back to Japan. I had to spend one night at a hotel in Beijing, China in transit and somehow, I was not connected to the internet, though they said that they had a free Wi-fi in the hotel, which was not surprising for me. No internet, no social media, no TV (Chinese programs were available though). What was I doing? I was just writing.

I knew that I could focus more on writing when I was shut out from the internet. I need to research online sometimes, but I can do it in the library.

We are going to leave for our vacation in Asia on December 6th and the connection will not be stable anyway when we are travelling around. It means that we only have five days in this month in Montreal because the 1st was Sunday when we were in the country house. We then decided to cancel Bell and cut off the internet at home in Montreal. There are lots of cafes near our apartment and there is a big library only a ten-minute walk away where I can connect to their Wi-fi for free.

(By the way, we had been paying 960 dollars a year to Bell, which is not a small amount when you think about what you could do with that money in South-East Asia.)

We will come back to Canada in the middle of January 2020. We may set up a contract with another internet provider here again or may go back to Bell again. Or, we may continue life without internet at least until next scheduled departure in late February.

I don’t have a mobile phone, so I cannot use my mobile data either. My life in Montreal became completely internet free.

Don’t you feel that the internet steals your time when you are checking social media and scrolling your phones?
Have you ever wondered if it is really necessary to your life?
People believe the internet changed our lives and made the world better, but has it really? It has changed the world, but is this the ideal place where you had imagined?

Still, it is not easy to say “No” to our life-changer, the Internet. Imagine, what would you do if you were to be disconnected from tomorrow?

No Amazon music. No YouTube.

I don’t check my social or e-mails as soon as I get up. I don’t open my phone and tablet to check if there is a notification from the apps. I look outside more often to see how the weather is, instead of checking the weather forecast online.

I continue writing, as I am doing now, but I spend more time cleaning the apartment, ironing shirts, cooking and reading (I have lots of books to read).

No telephone ringing (because I don’t have a phone). No sound of notifications. No hassles. No depressing messages, and no unwanted ads!

I write at home with Microsoft Word and upload my documents when I am online at the library or cafes while checking my mailbox and social accounts at the same time.

Life is a series of choices. When you choose something, you may lose other opportunities. The internet has changed our lives and it may have made the world better somewhere, but one thing is for sure and is that it’s better not to let the internet control your life and time!