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. *



Bell

Bell Fibe 6 - $41.95 per month
  • Cap 40GB
  • Upload Speed: 1 Mbps
  • Download: 6 Mbps
  • Per GB Overage: $2.50
Bell Essential Plus - $31.95 per month
  • Cap 2GB
  • Upload Speed 800 Kbps
  • Download 2 Mbps
  • Per GB Overage: $2.50

Bell Notes

Modem costs are extra. Internet usage exceeding your bandwidth cap is charged at $2.50 per GB to a max of $60 up to 300 GB. After 300GB the charge is an additional $1 per GB. A usage insurance plan is available for $5 per month for an additional 40 GB of usage.

Rogers Cable

Rogers High Speed Internet - $47 per month
  • Cap 60GB
  • Upload Speed 80 Kbps to 512Kbps
  • Download 10 Mbps
  • Per GB Overage: $2
Rogers High Speed Lite - $36 per month
  • Cap 15GB
  • Upload Speed 80 Kbps to 256Kbps
  • Download 3 Mbps
  • Per GB Overage: $4

Rogers Notes:

Modem costs are extra. Monthy data add-ons are not available. For more bandwidth, you must buy a higher level package.

Shaw Cable

Shaw High Speed - $47.00 per month
  • Cap: 60GB
  • Upload Speed: 512Kbps
  • Max Download: 7.5 Mbps
  • Per GB Overage: $1
Shaw High Speed Light - $35 per month
  • Cap: 15GB
  • Upload Speed: 256Kbps
  • Max Download: 1 Mbps
  • Per GB Overage: $2

Shaw Notes:

Monthly cost includes Modem rental. Monthy data add-ons can also be purchased: 10 GB for $5/month, 60 GB for $20/month, 250 GB for $50/month.

Telus

Telus High Speed- $37 per month plus modem
  • Cap 75GB
  • Upload Speed: 1 Mbps
  • Max Download: 6 Mbps
  • Per GB Overage: $2
Telus High Speed Lite - $27 per month plus modem
  • Cap 13GB
  • Upload Speed 256 Kbps
  • Max Download 1 Mbps
  • Per GB Overage: $5

Telus Notes:

Modem costs are extra.

Videotron

Videotron High Speed Internet - $52.95 per month
  • Cap 40GB
  • Upload Speed: 1 Mbps
  • Download 8 Mbps
  • Per GB Overage: $4.50
Videtron Basic - $28.95 per month
  • Cap 4GB
  • Upload Speed 800 Kbps
  • Download 3 Mbps
  • Per GB Overage: $4.50

Videotron Notes:

Monthly cost includes Modem rental. Usage exceeding the monthly capacity limit will be billed at $4.50 per gigabyte used up to a maximum of $50 per month. Monthy data add-on plans are available: $5 for 5 Gigabytes or $12.50 for 30GB.

Compare Internet Service Providers in Digital Home's General Internet and Telephone providers forum .

* Please note that Digital Home has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the numbers show here, however, please confirm all pricing, contract length and terms of service with your service provider before signing up for service.