Big telecommunications companies have started offering unlimited internet packages for the first time in years, ahead of a decision by Canada's telecommunications regulator that could determine whether independent internet service providers are able to offer similar packages.
Rogers began advertising an unlimited internet offer this week that matches one announced by Bell in January. Both companies are offering the option for:
Rogers says its offer is only available until the end of March.
- $10 on top of the usual monthly internet fee to customers who bundle together three of their services – such as home phone, TV and internet.
- $30 on top of the usual monthly fee for customers who don’t have a bundle.
For the past few years, big internet service providers (ISPs) such as Bell and Rogers have had monthly usage caps on all their internet packages, charging $0.50 to $4 per gigabyte over the cap.
Albert Lee, a spokesman for Bell, told CBC News following the January announcement that Bell has not offered unlimited internet for at least five years. Rogers would not say when it last offered unlimited internet, but said this is the first time it is making such an offer as a promotion.
In recent years, Bell and Rogers had argued before Canada’s telecommunications regulator that their caps and overage fees were necessary to manage congestion on their networks and to ensure that heavy users pay their fair share.
'Massive broadband network investments'
Lee said Bell can now begin offering unlimited internet again thanks to the company’s “massive broadband network investments” of more than $3 billion annually in recent years.
“This new unlimited approach recognizes that Canadians use the internet more than anyone else in the world and that usage is accelerating by the day,” he wrote in an email.
When asked why Rogers was making its unlimited internet offer, spokeswoman Patricia Law said in an email that the company is "continuously offering new plans and packages to better serve our customers."
CRTC finalizes wholesale rates for independent service providers
OTTAWA, Feb. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) established final rates for the wholesale high-speed access services used by independent service providers to offer competitively priced Internet and other services. As a result of certain adjustments, some independent service providers will see significant reductions in the wholesale rates they pay.
"Large and small independent service providers now have the certainty they need to continue offering Canadians a choice of innovative and competitive services," said Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC. "We are pleased to finally close this chapter after a careful examination of the wholesale rates, which included a review of the costing information."
All large telephone and cable companies that provide wholesale high-speed access services to independent service providers must now use a single billing model and offer the same rates for business and residential end-users. This will result in a more straightforward billing process for independent service providers. Previously, certain large companies charged different rates under different billing models for wholesale and residential business services.
The final wholesale rates are based on the large telephone and cable companies' costs, plus a reasonable markup. The rates enable large companies to recover their costs and make further investments in their networks.
Today's decisions apply only to the wholesale high-speed access services the large telephone and cable companies sell to independent service providers. The CRTC does not approve the rates and packages for Internet services offered to Canadian consumers at the retail level. The CRTC expects, however, that the final wholesale rates will have a favourable impact on prices charged in the competitive retail market.
I really doubt much "investment" has been made on the residential side, it looks like for the last handful of years by far most investment has moved to wireless (i.e. 3G, 4G/LTE) rather than residential internet, and I doubt most consumers bought into the notion that these caps were necessary to begin with.
Edited by zaibatsu, 22 February 2013 - 06:33 AM.