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Canada Networking The Internet News

Rogers Shrinks Download Limits As Netflix Arrives 281

Meshach writes "Hot on the heels of Netflix coming to Canada, Rogers (one of the biggest ISPs in Canada) has shrunk download limits. 'As of Wednesday, new customers who sign up for the Lite service will be allowed 15 gigabytes, a drop from the 25 GB limit offered to those who signed up before July 21. Meanwhile, any new Lite user who goes over the monthly limit will have to pay $4 per GB up to a maximum of $50 — a spike from the previous $2.5 per GB surcharge.' Officially, there is no connection between the two events, but it seems an odd coincidence, especially when Rogers charges customers who exceed their bandwidth allowance."
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Rogers Shrinks Download Limits As Netflix Arrives

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  • by Manip ( 656104 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @01:33PM (#33014620)

    I like how the overflow bandwidth costs over 500% wholesale costs. $4.5 is just insane. I almost wonder if 3G bandwidth isn't cheaper than that. Just goes to show that they aren't doing this in order to offer everyone a good service, but rather to punish and blackmail moderate users into buying a higher tier subscription service.

    • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @01:41PM (#33014684) Journal

      I like how the overflow bandwidth costs over 500% wholesale costs.

      I think you mean times, not percent. My host reserves the right to charge 4p/GB, which works out at about 6 Canadian cents (although they won't charge me if other users on the same connection don't go over their threshold and their upstream provider doesn't charge them). This is including their upstream provider's markup in their transit costs, so for a large ISP with peering arrangements the cost is likely to be closer to one Canadian cent per GB.

      Of course, that's ignoring the cost of the last mile bandwidth. The caps are, at least in theory, picked as arbitrary numbers that prevent the last mile connection from being saturated.

      • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @02:51PM (#33015242)
        The last mile is ALWAYS saturated. I've been working in the telcom industry for 15years now and watch from the inception of the internet until now. Back in the day it would have been unheard of to oversell a remote, but now it's almost sick what the industry will pull. I've worked for 3 phone companies and they all do the same crap. They'll have 50 people fed out of a remote, they'll sell 5meg connections to most of those people and then the remote will be fed by 2 or 3 T1s. There isn't a SINGLE customer in the remote that can get what they paid for... not a single one!! Then those T1's lead back to the CO, where hundreds more meet and is fed to a backbone that is, yet again, woefully under provisioned. When customers call and complain that they went to some speed test site and they are getting 500k or 1mb instead of their 5mb or 10mb they are paying for, the staff that answer the phone have to read off a script that states they can not guarantee the results from 3rd party sites... who knows whats wrong with those websites right? But oh wait, your ISP has their own speed test site! How great... but guess what, every router from you to that speed test site is QOS's to that IP address, and the website itself is hosted on the ISPs own backbone. Holy crap I hit 4 MB!! Wait... I'm paying for 5... So now the sales contracts have changed... you're not paying for 5mb, you're paying for "Up to 5mb!" yay! "We're upgrading you from your 2mb connection to our new "Up to 5mb!" but oh wait... you never even got 1mb all these years, and that hasn't changed.
    • by billcopc ( 196330 ) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Saturday July 24, 2010 @02:17PM (#33014970) Homepage

      Dude, they punish and blackmail EVERY TIER. My internet bill is about $120 because I am one of those who consistently uses more than 95gb per month. According to Rogers, people who use that kind of bandwidth can only be evil pirates. According to my own traffic logs, I am a geek who really values offsite backups, remote desktop access and ferrying new content to/from my web server somewhere in Seattle.

      Rogers is ass, but they're the lesser of several evils up here. Bell's network conks out on a daily basis, even when it's up the speed is pathetic and latency is worse than my old 9600 baud. All the other "ISPs" are Bell resellers, cheaper but equally fucked - even the legendary TekSavvy is at the mercy of Bell's colonary spasms.

      And I have yet to hear any word about residential fiber up here. What Bell calls "Fibe" is just ADSL 2 and the fiber terminates at the DSLAM, like it has for 15 years.

      What do I want ? Simple. I want a 100mbit shared line in my building. They call this place "Silicon Valley North", well then where's my fucking pipe ?

      If I guess by the number of WiFi networks I've scanned, at least 25 tenants have broadband in my building alone. Now being a sysadmin, I know a thing or two about fiber, and I know that 25 times $50 a month is enough to bring a 100mb line here. With a bit of infrastructure, that could be aggregated up to a gbit line to service a few city blocks. It's certainly more bandwidth than Rogers is providing us.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by arekq ( 651007 )

        The third party ISPs are not exactly Bell resellers.
        Their rent the ADSL connection from Bell but they have their own network and upstream providers.
        Having said that, yes, the ADSL scene is not looking good in Canada.
        The third party ISPs are not getting the faster ADSL2 service, and the fucking CRTC passed UBB to give even more power to Bell to screw customer and third party providers.
        I'll still choose third party ISPs, though. They still provide better service, and even though it looks like a losing battle,

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        TekSavvy is not a Bell reseller. It uses Bell's last-mile connection and GAS (Gateway Access Service), but subscribes to its own backbone providers. It has also started laying its own fiber in a few small communities. For those with an interest in Canadian ISPs, it is very important to not spread the myth that TekSavvy is a Bell reseller, as this is what allows Bell to whine and complain to the government about how they were not allowed to charge TekSavvy per GB used by TekSavvy customers.

        Unfortunately, the

        • Ok so the "reseller" shorthand is inaccurate, and yes I know how it actually works with TekSavvy renting transit over the DSLAM only. The problem is Bell is still involved in the process, and as we have seen, Bell has taken advantage of that position to throttle other people's traffic in a very anti-competitive fashion.

          I still think the solution to all these moronic issues is to dissove both Bell and Rogers and assimilate them back as government-owned services. At best, for-profit utilities do not benefit

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MoonBuggy ( 611105 )

        In that case it sounds like there's a gap in the market waiting to be filled, and that means profit to be made. You could be the guy making that profit, not to mention getting the connection you wanted in the first place. It'll take a bit of work, but giving the middle finger to the entrenched pseudo-monopolies could be a rather satisfying way for a geek to make a living!

      • Get your neighbors together in your building. Propose a plan after checking with ISPs. Tell them you want business class service, and how much it is. Then split that with your neighbors. This might be fiber. It might not.

      • by cgenman ( 325138 )

        Don't worry, with the advent of Netflix streaming, soon you'll be an evil video-watcher.

        We've hit 50GB this month streaming about 1 hour of television a night + 10 GB offsite backup. Anyone with a full household and netflix can expect to stream much, much more than that.

        The more common those usage patterns become, the more high-bandwidth users seem normal. And then hopefully we'll start seeing offsite backup services with the bandwidth to actually support the damned services they sell.

        • Don't worry, with the advent of Netflix streaming, soon you'll be an evil video-watcher.

          No he won't, they'll still claim those going over their quotas are evil pirates because that's easier to justify publicly than saying they just watch too much online video. Limits as small as Rogers is using have nothing to do with stopping the top 1% of users (another saying ISPs are fond of trotting out) "abusing" their bandwidth and everything to do with padding the company's bottom line while trying to make it look like they aren't raising the actual monthly bill. (Since all the extra money gets hidde

      • According to Rogers, people who use that kind of bandwidth can only be evil pirates. According to my own traffic logs, I am a geek who really values offsite backups,

        So that's what they are calling it now!

    • No. It's called business - they charge what the market can bear. When you buy a coffee for $2, do you really think it cost them that much? I had a friend in the coffee shop business and it cost him about $0.04 per POT for coffee.

      • That's not an accurate analogy. When I go out to buy coffee, the coffee doesn't cost $2, but unless you're buying from a squatter, they've got other expenses. Electricity, rent, wages, heating, taxes and such, the actual cost of the food is one of the cheapest parts of the equation.
      • by Idarubicin ( 579475 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @04:28PM (#33015958) Journal

        I had a friend in the coffee shop business and it cost him about $0.04 per POT for coffee.

        I think it's neat how you still keep in touch with your friends who live in 1963.

        Green coffee beans trade at wholesale prices of somewhere upward of one dollar per pound on international markets. Specialty, fair trade, organic, or higher-grade beans will cost more.

        Let's assume that your friend is using a small, 50-ounce coffeepot. Figure that will take a couple of ounces of ground, roasted coffee. Two ounces at one dollar per pound is a bit more than twelve cents' worth of green beans. That assumes that there is no cost to roast the coffee, package the coffee, store the coffee, or deliver the coffee; it also ignores the fact that coffee is actually trading closer to $1.66 [tradingcharts.com], and that it will lose another fifteen percent [wikia.com] of its mass when roasted.

        Heck, if the barista making the coffee earns $7.25 an hour (the U.S. federal minimum wage), then four cents pays her for a hair less than twenty seconds of work. I hope that you're not expecting anyone to spend time to wash those coffeepots and mugs. If the coffeemaker draws 1200 watts, and electricity is ten cents per kWh, then the ten minutes it took to brew the pot just burned through half our budget: 2 cents.

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        But in a healthy market, isn't "the invisible hand of the market" supposed to drive the price down to the costs? There sure seem to be a lot of unhealthy markets around!

    • by nurb432 ( 527695 )

      Why? Because they can.

  • Ummmm. Ouch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @01:36PM (#33014636)

    I can understand limits on consumer lines. You can have fast and cheap, but not all the time if you want fast all the time it costs more. Ok, but that still needs to be a reasonable amount. The 250GB cap Comcast does is quite reasonable. That's enough to do a whole lot and never get near it. Mainly the compulsive torrenters are the ones affected. But 15GB? That is just stupidly low. You can hit that without Netflix. Surf the web regularly, watch Youtube, download some game patches and you are there.

    Talk about unreasonable :P.

    • Re:Ummmm. Ouch (Score:5, Interesting)

      by stretch0611 ( 603238 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @02:17PM (#33014972) Journal

      Comcast's 250gb cap is reasonable? No it isn't, it is just a way for them to avoid investing more money in building their network and in addition protect their own movie service.

      Between downloading patches, linux distros, and porn along with working from home connecting to remote machines, I have come up against that limit without netflix or any other movie streaming. (And this is all legal activity with bit torrent only being used for linux distros.)

      Now if you add to that netflix or some other provider, add an additional tv or two, how much bandwidth can a family of four people use? They can easily break the 250GB barrier. (I did it alone.)

      And this is today... in the future we will be expecting lossless HD video, video calling, and sharing home movies with friends and relatives instead of just pictures. Online games are just going to require more and more bandwidth and who knows how much bandwidth the next killer app will use or how addicted the next bunch of morons will be to the website that eventually slays facebook.

      Comcast and all the others want to protect their monopolies (or duopolies as appropriate) and to increase their profit margins with the least bit of effort. The cost of bandwidth is in building it, it does not cost more to transfer extra bits over the network.

      • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
        Give me a break and try to look around yourself. 250gb is plenty for most purposes and I can barely believe you Americans complaining about such a high cap when in Canada the highest you get is around 80gb with excessive fees if you go higher than that (and that's for already extremely expensive services).

        Get over the cap you've got, hearing the whines about Comcast just makes me want to punch someone when you compare with what others get.
      • I admit that I am a power user. My point was that I can hit the 250GB cap alone, without netflix and without illegal torrent downloads. If I can do it alone without netflix; a family can easily hit the cap and exceed it when you add in multiple people accessing the internet at the same time especially if you have multiple people streaming movies. That is why the cap is unreasonable.

        My other point was that in the future we will demand bandwidth in ever increasing amounts yet the caps will hold us back. Looki

    • I don't think it's that bad, actually, because they offer different plans. If all you're planning on doing is watching a few youtube videos and checking email, why should you pay the same as someone who is using their internet connection to watch movies every night? You shouldn't, it's not fair, and this plan is marketed at those who are low-internet users (this should be obvious). If you need more than 15GB, it is not a problem, just move up to the next plan.

      If you look at their plans [rogers.com], you can see tha
    • FTA:

      “ensure we are giving those with higher demands the option to choose more speed or bandwidth while ensuring those whose needs are not as great to have lower priced tiers,”

      And yet, they are lowering the cap on the "Extreme" service by 12%.

      For comparison, I push out an average of 4500gb a month on my colocated web server, and it costs less than my residential cable internet. What Rogers is charging for overage is about 200 times my relatively high bulk cost, considering I'm small peas in the colo world.

    • Re:Ummmm. Ouch (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Fumus ( 1258966 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @02:36PM (#33015104)

      Game patches? Just download A game you bought from Steam. Or better, a free weekend promo on Steam. They offered a free weekend of CoD:MW2 which was 11.2 GB. Then Serious Sam HD weighing 2 GB. Then insane price cuts for 24 hours on random games which each easily was over 5 GB. The world has gone digital. You can easily download 25+ GB a month by just buying a few older games at random Digital Download sellers like Steam, Direct2Drive, Impulse, and others.

      • Understood, but buying games as such is still a bit of a geek thing. Don't believe the hype that most sales are digital, they aren't. That recent "study" was actually just a poll takes online. Hmmmm, selection bias much? According to publishers, retail still dominates, about 4 of every 5 sales.

        My point was simply to be that you can easily run over your cap with normal, non "power user" activities. You don't even need Steam or Netflix to hit 15gb. The plan is insufficient for everyone but extremely casual su

        • by Fumus ( 1258966 )

          I didn't want to undermine your point. I just wanted to note that one random game can be over a third of your limit. And that can be free too.

          As for the poll, meh. Retail is still king for consoles, but when I see TES4: Oblivion GOTY Edition at Steam for something like 7$ then yeah. Retail can dream on.

          • I personally buy a ton of games online, I've 40 or so on Steam, probably 30 on Impulse. However I buy a ton of games in general, and I'm generally technically adept and happy to use new technologies. I'm just pointing out that as of yet, it is a "niche" thing. It is maybe 20% of sales. Nothing to sneeze at, but still the minority.

    • 15 GB a month is 500MB a day - virtually the same as allocated by the satellite ISP country folks around use to get internet to their homes. I think if I was stuck on something like that I'd be rounding up a few neighbors to form a co-op...
  • Time to jump ship by the looks of things. Best vote with your choice of ISP.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The problem is, there is almost nowhere to jump to in most areas. I live in Toronto, where Bell is pretty much the only other major player, and their rates are just as brutal as Rogers'.

      Currently I'm with Acanac, who lease their lines from Bell. The speed isn't as good as it was with Rogers or Bell, but it's one of the few options left (the only other one I know is Teksavvy) for getting away with no bandwidth cap.

      • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        That's correct. I live in Ontario, and I have two ISP choices really. Rogers, or Bell. Maybe a 3rd party DSL service which is still on bell's backbone, and which bell still throttles. I'm still paitently waiting for some form of competition against rogers. But right now, I'm screwed and getting pillaged. Oddly enough my sister who's moving out to Alberta is getting cable internet $20/mo less and 20gb more on the cap.

        Since Teksavvy is opening into cable markets it's looking promising but the rollout is

  • by thue ( 121682 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @01:44PM (#33014716) Homepage

    We buy a raw 100Mbit/100Mbit Internet connection with guarantied bandwidth for 1300 US$/month. We haven't renegotiated that price in a while, but I hear that bandwidth prices have been falling very fast since then. A big ISP would probably get bandwidth cheaper still.

    Our current price works out to 25GB/$ if we use it 100% 24/7. So if you are paying more than 15/25=60cents for our Internet connection limited to 15GB/month, then you are being cheated.

    I really don't get why Internet connection limits are so often so low. The fraction of the price you pay which actually goes to cover Internet bandwidth costs in a normal Internet connection is miniscule.

    • Bandwidth doesn't scale down well, there's last-mile costs. There's the upfront roll-out for one, then the DSLAMs, then account management. That said, this level of cap is downright highway robbery, only a monopoly could get away with that.
    • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @04:08PM (#33015756) Homepage

      Internet connections are grossly oversold. I worked in an ISP once, where the upstream we had was sufficient to cover ONE full-use customer. At any given time, there were 50 online. Because of how people used the connections (net surfing, checking e-mail) the burst was fine. But anyone who tried a sustained transfer was getting garbage. And there were times of day when even the bursty nature of customer usage was too much, and the network was dogg-slow. Of course, we blamed it on DSL routing and old telephone lines. But the fact was the last mile was owned by a telco who re-sold bulk access to us for more than they charged customers directly. So we had to charge as little as possible (which was always more than them, of course), and set up with as small of an overhead buffer as possible.

      ISP's are just expensive. Customer service people don't come cheap, compared to how much people pay (if net on each customer is $10 a month, a minimum of 500 customers' worth of income just goes to one person to handle all of the phone calls. With 500 customers, there will be 5 or so that demand attention every hour of every waking bloody day. Add in actual engineers, advertising, the shrinking revenue base... it's tough. One big corner that basically has to be cut is upstream. The question is how deeply you cut. And when you're looking at cutting back something many people wouldn't notice, or cutting your own salary to shreds, most people go for the former.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by msimion ( 1863434 )
      I'm in Romania and I pay ~15 USD for cable, land phone line and a 50MBits internet connection (no limits whatsoever). Depending on peer's upload bandwith I can go up to 1-3 Mbytes (not MBits) while downloading stuff. Some would call this service tri-play. Aren't such services available in .ca or .us ?
    • I really don't get why Internet connection limits are so often so low. The fraction of the price you pay which actually goes to cover Internet bandwidth costs in a normal Internet connection is miniscule.

      Mostly it's due to two reasons: 1. the ISPs don't want to actually spend any money upgrading their networks, because that'd lower their profits in the short term (although they're going to pay for this dearly at some point in the future) and 2. it's an easy way to make more money off your customers both without upgrading, and most importantly, without raising the regular fees. By hiding the extra costs in overage charges, and marketing it so it sounds like only evil people (pirates, bandwidth hogs, etc.) w

  • by One Louder ( 595430 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @01:48PM (#33014756)
    This is just the opening shot in the upcoming battle between cable providers that want you to use *their* on-demand movie systems vs Netflix and similar companies. It's not surprising it happened with Rogers first, but this will inevitably happen in the US too. Netflix's streaming of movies is the residential ISP's worst nightmare come true. They'll be in a position where they have to tell their customers that something they used to be able to do for no additional cost will suddenly become a new confusing expense showing up on their cable bill with no apparent additional benefit to the customer.
  • Switch to Teksavvy (Score:4, Informative)

    by static416 ( 1002522 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @01:52PM (#33014780)

    I switched to Teksavvy Cable a month ago and it's awesome. No throttling, 200GB cap, and 10/1 speeds for $42. You can't match that with any other provider in Toronto.

  • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @01:55PM (#33014792)

    This is obviously abusing a semi-monopoly to conduct price gouging, and the government should intervene.

    Typical prices ISPs will pay for is the mere one-time cost of network equipment plus ~$25/Megabit/Mo, for a commitment to transfer data, the price is typically the same no matter how much data's transferred as long as the 95th-percentile traffic rate's not over the commit (95th percentile billing on a burstable link), otherwise known as $25,000/month per gigabit.

    Sometimes an ISP might buy more bandwidth at different times of the day than others, but, in any case, they would do that because the cost is less, not more than the typical market rates.

    Over a 1000Mbps backhaul, approximately 800 customers can be downloading 1 Megabit continuously 24/7, at an approximate avg cost to the ISP of $3125 per customer for that data, but in that case, 324000MB is transferred per customer on avg per month, resulting that each Megabyte transferred costs the ISP approximately $0.009 per megabyte.

    Web hosting providers will typically charge $0.15 to $0.80 per GB per month on average.

    Roger's "overage pricing" is like 4X the rate charged by even the most greedy of hosting providers.

    • That seems rather expensive, adjusted for currency exchange i pay $15 for 6MB/s up/down and no bandwidth cap. As much as i can upload and download it's ok. And this is only the international speed, local peering is even faster.

      I live in Bulgaria btw and i get a very low latency with the entire european union/ asia.
      With the Americas you can still download/seed but it's no good for real time playing like in FPS games.
    • by jafo ( 11982 ) *
      Your price comparison is off base in a few ways...

      First of all, you concentrate on the $4/GB, but ignoring the $50/month cap. If you go just a little over, you may pay as little as $4. Doesn't seem like highway robbery to me. If you go a LOT over, you don't have to pay more than $86. No threats of being cut off like with Comcast... You get to have unlimited Internet for $86. Again, doesn't seem like highway robbery to me.

      You talk about how much wholesale Internet costs, but this just isn't wholesale s
    • by syousef ( 465911 )

      Come to Australia. Unless you're very careful you'll find yourself signed up to plans that charge tens of cents or even dollars per extra MEGABYTE

  • Why is it that ISPs (and cell phone carriers) seem to ignore economies of scale? Its expensive to lay cable as a small ISP but when you get larger and larger it becomes cheaper thus bandwidth becomes cheaper. It is even more obvious when it comes to cell carriers, it costs a lot of money to put up a tower, it costs significantly less to upgrade that tower to 3G/4G, etc.

    Not to mention that the more people who have the ISP the more profit the ISP makes thus making it even easier to lay more cables and inc
    • And why do bankers do so? It's because they aren't ignoring it, they're just not passing it on because they don't have to. Banks reach a peak economy of scale at around $100 billion, beyond that there's little advantage to be had in terms of efficiency. They grow beyond that so that they can have the leverage to hold back more of the profits. I'm guessing that the same applies here as well.
  • by crispytwo ( 1144275 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @01:56PM (#33014804)

    At the same time, they are pushing their Rogers on Demand service to all their customers too. http://www.rogersondemand.com/ [rogersondemand.com]

    Which means either charging people to watch TV content by 'downloading' it, or maybe, will they give a break to people who are on their network to use their service?

    This is precisely why net neutrality is important and required.

    • by PIBM ( 588930 )

      Last time I looked they were only charging for content coming from outside of their network, as such they are using this artificially low limit to boost the effectiveness of their rogers on demand..

    • by mevets ( 322601 )

      Rogers is first a cable company; and have a monopoly on cable tv in much of densely (in both senses) populated Canada. They are manipulating the bandwidth caps to protect the cable business. Expect to see Bell to follow, as they have their satellite TV business to protect. The CRTC (a bit like a neutered and mewling version of the FCC) will back them up to the hilt; I think they are being blackmailed by Bell and Rogers.

      Eventually, these moves will be the unwinding of Rogers; few businesses survive bun

  • Two plans changed (Score:3, Informative)

    by kbahey ( 102895 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @02:09PM (#33014902) Homepage

    I am a Rogers customer. I like the speed and latency (Express plan), but hate the bandwidth cap. Normally, I don't go over it, but occasionally do so.

    Here is a matrix of their plans [rogers.com].

    Two plans changed for new clients signing up after July 21: Lite and Extreme. Lite is what the summary describes. Extreme was 95GB for $60 a month, now it is 80GB.

    They want to make money in two ways: via their own video service, and by charging extra for bandwidth that people will use for Netflix.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by emj ( 15659 )
      I pay 46 $CAD per month for 100/100 with no cap, you are being cheated..
      • by emj ( 15659 )
        I'm not from Canada, but you seem to have a fucked up market for broadband. Considering I pay less for 100/100 than you do for 2Mbps it's pretty obvious that either the laws make it impossible to invest in roadband, or someone will soon be making a crap load of money by selling broadband services for lower prices.
    • Thanks for linking to the plans; it allows all of the different options to be put in perspective. It also shows that if I lived in Canada, I'd get 125 GB for about what I'm paying here in New Zealand for 40 GB (although Rogers' overage charges are far more expensive). So, I'm afraid that I have very little pity when the Rogers rates are comparatively low.

  • by CmpEng ( 1123811 )
    Rogers is also a cable provider and also provides its own On-Demand service for movies. Maybe reducing bandwidth limits on its accounts is a way to maintain profit from those customers who will be utilizing Netflix rather than Rogers On-Demand.
  • by fudoniten ( 918077 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @02:13PM (#33014934)

    You failed to mention that Rogers Video is one of the largest chains of movie rental shops in Canada. That's what makes this an especially weird coincidence.

    At one point, I couldn't get a cell phone from Rogers the telco, apparently because I owed some late fees to Rogers the movie rental shop, which I could only pay at the movie shop. So I went with another telco. Weird, anyway; I hadn't realized they were all so tightly connected.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LoudMusic ( 199347 )

      Well, whether or not they're connected, your recorded lack of payment on rented movies could show up on a credit score which the telco referenced as reason for you to not pay telephone bills and denied your application.

  • by dvious ( 1840038 )
    Consumer protection is virtually non-existent in Canada. The CRTC is a spineless puppet entity, solely to serve big business. Cable providers are mutually exclusive across Canada as far as I know, meaning only one exists per territory. Bandwidth caps, as you can see, are draconian, UBB (usage-based billing) is ridiculous. The list goes on and on...
    • That is changing, at least in Alberta - Shaw and Telus both supply internet here, and have for over a decade.

      What's new (and interesting to me) is that each is pushing rather aggressively into each other's monopolies - Shaw got into the phone business years ago (if memory serves, they made a huge push during the last Telus strike and got a nice foothold), and Telus started offering TV a year or two back (and judging from the every-other-week phone calls, is pushing very hard to make inroads on the TV side).

  • I just switched from SHAW to NakedADSL and get 200 gigs up and down while SHAW was 60. Now I haver had problems with SHAW contacting me about going over BUT but bit torrent even for linux distro's is useless on SHAW. The NakedADSl although not as fast download as SHAW never had a problem with bit torrent so far.
  • Rogers vs. Netflix (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nuckfuts ( 690967 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @02:38PM (#33015126)
    Rogers not only has bandwidth concerns. They also operate a chain of movie rental stores [rogersplus.ca]. Netflix poses a dual threat to Rogers.
  • by failedlogic ( 627314 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @03:08PM (#33015330)

    (sorry for length, hope this might be helpful, probably overstaing obvious, anyways.....)

    I don't want to bash Rogers, they paid me a good salary and I had a great experience working there many years ago.

    I'm far removed from the company now, but I *think* and it appears marketing/management strategy remains unchanged.

    My experience though in sales has been that the marketing and upper management has some strange way of making promotions and changing products for better (and unfortunately) worse. Most of the promotions are pretty positive and get a lot of new customers and sales for cable, PPV, specialty channels and Internet. This new download cap probably won't be a problem since most customers don't use or understand the Internet much. I'll bet most are just check e-mail and news and won't even use close to 15 GB. I'd be more concerned if I were a parent. Kids with an XBox 360 or PS3, what with downloading patches, playing online, demos and Torrent, Netflix, Youtube, blah blah blah. The parents don't use the net much, but the kids you can't control and the kids and parents probably don't realize how much is being downloaded.

    I makes no sense to me that it would cost the ISP (Rogers) more for bandwidth as time goes on. I would think bandwidth costs would decrease and extra services like mail servers (a lot use Gmail, hotmail), news servers are no more, and I would think less people have 'homepages'.

    Rogers is not unlike Bell, Shaw and to the US neighbors AT&T and Sprint etc in that they like any company wanting to make a profit and draw people away from competitors. Bell also has TV/Satellite offerings. So given industry trends, I won't be surprised if this bandwidth change is directly related to a conflict of interest, one they know the CRTC won't touch or are too slow to move.

    I live in Vancouver, so I've also the opportunity as with Ontario and Quebec residents, to be a TekSavvy customer. It costs me more with a dry line, but well worth escaping the Telus or Shaw. Bonus - they are more than generous with bandwidth. I'm happy with service - as long as Telus doesn't start pissing me off by trying to get the useless CRTC to cap non Telus DSL subscribers on their loop. As taxpayers, we've more than subsided the Ma Bells - to the point these should probably be considered public infrastructure.

  • The situation in Canada sucks. Bell and Rogers do whatever they want and the CRTC goes along with it.

    Oh, well, I don't have cable TV or Internet, but I do have cell phone service through Rogers. Time to jump ship to Wind Mobile, I think...

  • Remember, they cap their overage charges at $50. So, the max you can pay with this is around $86/month (the "Lite" plan is $36/month). That's around $83USD.

    For comparison, the Extreme Plus plan is about what I'm paying in the US for Comcast, at $70/month. That offers 125GB of transfer per month, or half the Comcast cap. Of course, it also offers 25mbps download and 1mbps upload, which is better than the 16mbps and 876kbps I get.

    But what happens if I go over my 250GB cap? Comcast seems to be saying they
  • by Restil ( 31903 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @07:53PM (#33017428) Homepage

    Not to take the side of the cable company, but the Lite service is the second from the bottom in terms of cost. It's not meant for the high-end bandwidth consumer. As the site says, that service is stated to be "Perfect for email, moderate web surfing, and sharing files." It's 3M/256k with a 15 gig monthly limit. However, if you plan to download several movies a day, this clearly isn't going to be enough for you. Thankfully, the company offers OTHER service options. The Ultimate plan, has 50/2 and a 175 gig limit, with only 50 cents per additional gig. Of course, you'll pay more for that plan, but I don't think anyone was seriously thinking that the second cheapest service plan should have completely unlimited bandwidth.

    And if the ultimate plan isn't enough for you, there are business plans available which will offer even more, although it's likely going to cost more and the plans apparently aren't available to view on the site. But this is pretty typical for a cable company. I'm not sure what the complaint is supposed to be.


  • by N0Man74 ( 1620447 ) on Sunday July 25, 2010 @03:48AM (#33019438)

    My understanding is that both Rogers and Bell are also trying to persuade the CRTC to government regulated download limits of 60 GB for all ISPs. This of course would allow them to protect themselves from customers going to another ISP.

    Also, before shrinking download limits, they've also doubled overlimit fees [stopthecap.com].

    They've began to offer on ad supported on-demand video online [stopthecap.com], except this "free" video is still subject to their usage limits.

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