There is no competitive pressure for Shaw or Telus to invest in the infrastructure required.
Shaw provides the competitive pressure for Telus to get FTTH. Telus can't go much further with POTS lines (as far as bandwidth goes). As bandwidth requirements increase, and as video-over-IP becomes common place and people decide they like high bitrate (and 4k) videos, the differences between Shaw and Telus will become much more apparent than it is today.
So, unless Telus wants to live life as a low-end "web browsing and low bitrate video only" ISP they have incentive to improve. Indeed, Telus already is deploying fiber to the home for all their new installations (at least, that is what their press releases claim).
Shaw currently claims they can offer 250 Mbps Internet service for 110.00 per month. Where would they price 1Gbps Internet? How many customers would pay a higher price than this?
I would, especially if it offers symmetrical upload/download speeds.
Or, are they going to market FTTH and 1Gbps to my neighbourhood? High household income levels, 40 year old houses, no back alleys. A neighbourhood where Telus is hoping every spring that they can still find a spare pair somewhere to fix up a customers water soaked line and where they can't even offer Optik TV. A neighbourhood where the fastest Internet Shaw can offer is 100 Mbps.
I can understand Telus' lack of incentive to do some serious digging when it would just fix a couple twisted pairs and not result in a switch to fibre for those customers. I'm sure there will be a order of deployment, and these things take time. My point is that as users start to get faster connections, "killer apps" come out that leverage the higher level of connectivity. Steaming video and P2P are examples of services that just didn't make sense until broadband came along. I believe "cloud services" will start to pop up and demonstrate new products, and one or two of them will turn out to be "must have" products that previously were not possible before 100+mbps connections were commonplace.
I understand that wired gigabit and wireless gigabit are not the same. A large number of the users on this discussion board will understand that also. But, Joe Consumer does not. The Shaw WiFi trial sites are offering 802.11n and g today, and I expect that by 2014-2015 Shaw will be marketing Gigabit wireless to their customer base.
Well, maybe you're aware of some technology other than 802.11ac that will provide this service. Maybe LTE Advanced would be an option, but if people thought the price of bandwidth was high for their ISP at home... just wait to see what wireless companies will charge when try to replace their wired ISP with a wireless ISP and and have a Netflix habit.
I have a LTE iPad 3, and when I try it out in downtown Edmonton the speeds are impressive. They are impressive today partly because of how few users are using LTE devices right now. Once everyone upgrades to a LTE phone, I'm sure the service levels will significantly fall because of the fundamental problems of using radio waves to serve up bandwidth to a lot of wireless devices.
We would all get high rates of packet loss that would remind us of what busy Ethernet networks used to be like when all we had were hubs and not switches.
Finally, there are fundamental problems with wireless networking which wired networks just don't need to deal with. If your neighbour starts using a baby monitor, that could ruin the throughput of your wireless network, and there is very little you can do about it. In other words, there are many quality-of-service problems with wireless networks that will be difficult to solve on a ongoing basis.