Here in Manitoba, you can see a decent amount of variation in speeds for DSL. For instance, my buddy lives in the South end of the city, right near an MTS (Telus doesn't provide DSL here, just yet) station, and he can download stuff quite rapidly. My other buddy, though, lives about 5 minutes from me, and, from what I've seen, his DSL connection (also from MTS) is no different from my Shaw connection. Also, I'm pretty sure a lot of people in this area use Shaw, so things can get pretty congested, from time to time...
I use shaw 'highspeed' extreme package or something like that,
and I randomly get disconnected but it's never 'fully' disconnected, it's just extremelly slow to the point where the loading takes so long the page's just give up.
Shaw is faster, but has only a 20GB download cap. Telus has a 30GB one and has much faster upload speed, but about 150-200 kbs slower download speed. Telus won't charge you unless you go like 50GB over there download cap, while Shaw will will make sure you pay even if you go a gig overboard. Plus shaw caps bittorent speeds.