Surveying Internet Rates across Canada
Over the last year, virtually every major Canadian Internet Service Provider has announced significant price increases and/or a significant reduction in service .
For example, last October Shaw Cable raised the cost of their high speed internet by $2 per month, an amount well above inflation, and in 2011, the cable giant plans on dramatically reducing service by implementing bandwidth caps on all of its Internet plans.
In Ontario, Rogers last year increased internet prices at a rate well above inflation, reduced bandwidth caps on most plans and doubled overage fees for those that exceed their reduced caps.
Unfortunately, Digital Home owners seeking relief from skyrocketing internet rates and service cutbacks by switching providers are quickly learning that competition among Internet Service Providers has virtually disappeared over the last 15 years.
In 2011, the majority of Canadians have only one or two internet service providers to choose from, their local telephone company or their local cable company.
The blame for the lack of competition for Internet Services in Canada can be laid squarely on the shoulders of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
Over the last 15 to 20 years, rather than implementing regulations to stimulate competition, the CRTC has allowed cable and telecommunications companies to use the profits earned from their cable and telephone monopolies to engage in predatory pricing practices. By allowing these big firms to subsidize internet service with profits earned from telephone or cable services, the CRTC ensured that competitors, who did not have cable and telephone monopolies to support them, would be driven out of the marketplace.
Now that the completion in Internet Services has been virtually wiped out, cable and telephone companies can now raise prices, reduce bandwidth caps and force Canadians into restrictive long term contracts, without any fear of losing customers.
Rates around Canada
Cable and Telephone companies across Canada currently offer their customers a variety of internet packages which start at around $30 per month and move up to around $150 per month. The primary reasons for spending more for Internet service each month are faster download speeds and bigger bandwidth caps. Rogers Cable in Ontario offers six residential internet service packages ranging in price from $28 to $100 per month.
For most Canadians, the most popular Internet package sold today is one which offers a significant bandwidth allotment (40 to 60GB per month) and mid-range download speeds (5 to 10 Mbps). Canadians who limit their internet usage to web browsing and email and are looking to reduce their bill may consider and essential or lite internet package.
On the next page, is a survey of the rates currently being charge by Canada’s biggest ISP’s: Bell, Rogers, Shaw, Telus and Videotron for their mid-range and lite packages. Unless noted, the monthly rates quoted here were sourced on January 11, 2011 and do include activation fees, modem rental costs, bundling discounts or taxes and may require the consumer to sign up for a minimum of one year of service. *
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