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As mentioned by gzink I am just looking for a second provider, not the ability to share two connections. I would look after that part internally. I guess it's just a matter of finding the least expensive Internet provider that meets my criteria.

Too bad ISPs wouldn't consider this as a service offering - an active Internet line into your home with a zero or a very low bandwidth limit but the ability ramp it up with just a phone call and all at a nominal monthly fee to make it worth while for them and the customer.

-Mike
 

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Look at Teksavvy, one of the popular third party providers. They have Cable 5 Lite with a 200GB cap for $30/mo. It doesn't get much cheaper unless you qualify for a free community service. Cable 5 Unlimited is $35. Add a modem purchase or rental to that for an extra $10+ for the first year. Buying a used modem may save some money. Cable 30 Unlimited is $50 and is much more usable. Teksavvy provides free service upgrades but charges for downgrades. In my experience, turn around times for service changes could be up to two days.

In comparison, Rogers has Internet 10 for $50/mo with a 100GB cap. That includes modem rental. Start.ca has a 50Mbps plan for $50/mo, the slowest they offer. The only other offers I could find under $30/mo were short term introductory prices and a company called Coextro. Their web site was unresponsive so I couldn't check availability.

Another option is wireless. Rogers has Wireless Mobile Internet starting at $10/mo. For $10, you get 100MB/mo. That's MB, not GB. That would be used up quickly on standard browser desktop web pages. Extra data costs $20/2GB so 200GB, as in the Cable 5 Lite above, would cost $2000. A wireless hub must be purchased up front for $200+. Speeds are not specified but 3G wireless can be quite slow.

Yet another option might be to add mobile hotspot capabilities to a cell phone plan. It would add little or no cost as a standby service. Mobile data is still potentially expensive with budget plans but is often cheap or included with high end plans.
 
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