News tagged: Rogers Hi-Speed
Rogers Communications has had quite a 2013. From ruining the credit score of a man that never had Rogers TV or Internet service
to having another one of their large-scale outages
, Rogers was apparently hoping to end 2013 with a bang. It did just that last Tuesday.
Rogers Communications announced a blockbuster deal for 12-years and $5.2 billion with the NHL that will give Rogers the multi-platform rights to all NHL games broadcast nationally in Canada. Rogers will pay an upfront fee of $150-million to the NHL plus annual rights fees starting at about $300-million and growing to about $500-million by the end of the contract, part of which it will recoup through sub-licensing deals.
If approved by the NHL Board of Governors next month
, the agreement will give Rogers national rights to TV broadcasts and TV Everywhere streaming (including out of home) for all regular-season and playoff games as well as the Stanley Cup Final and special events. It will have sponsorship rights to the NHL Shield logo, and will handle Canadian ad sales for NHL.com.
Regulations dictate that Rogers can’t withhold its hockey content from rival television distributors nor can it stockpile Web or mobile programming.
Rogers has been hounding Ontario resident Dave Johnson for three years about unpaid bills, resulting in credit collection agencies pursuing him and a ruined credit rating. The problem? Johnson has never had Rogers cable service. According to the CBC
, Dave Johnson was hounded by debt collectors even after making it clear to them he never had service with Rogers, the news outlet illustrating numerous similar problems with Rogers and their debt collectors. Rogers admits to the CBC they were pursuing the wrong Dave Johnson, but insists that "generally the system works" while foisting any blame on the shoulders of debt collection agencies.
Canadian lawmakers say they're working on new rules
that would require Canadian cable operators to offer a la carte content to consumers. "We don't think it's right for Canadians to have to pay for bundled television channels that they don't watch," said Canadian Industry Minister James Moore. "We want to unbundle television channels and allow Canadians to pick and pay the specific television channels that they want." There's a majority interest in more flexible channel options
here in the States, but usually only fleeting lip service by cable operators when it comes to providing them -- a la carte or otherwise.
Last month independent Canadian ISP TekSavvy all-but accused Rogers Communications of intentionally bumbling customer install and repair orders
, creating a massive backlog of issues in order to help drive their competitors out of business. When I spoke to Rogers the company denied blame
, instead blaming TekSavvy for missing necessary support forecasts and somehow "overwhelming" Rogers third party support resources.
As I noted last week
, indie Canadian ISP TekSavvy has been struggling with prolonged disconnections for many of their users, something the company says is because of changes at Canadian incumbent Rogers. To hear TekSavvy tell it, the company suddenly and inexplicably found their install and repair trouble tickets being ignored by Rogers; months of this contributing to a backlog of support issues that have caused massive headaches for the company and customers alike.
Indie Canadian ISP TekSavvy
isn't having a very good summer, and it appears Canadian incumbent Rogers is to thank for much of it. You'll probably recall that over the last few years independent Canadian ISP has built quite a name for itself for being a more consumer-friendly sort of ISP.
If you've watched any of them do business for more than a few minutes, it has been amusing to watch Canadian incumbents Bell, Telus and Rogers kick, scream and cry about Verizon's possible entry into the Canadian market
. Their Fair for Canada
TV and radio campaign has employees reading scripted statements proclaiming that Verizon will steal Canadian jobs and generally make Canadian wireless service (already some of the most expensive anywhere) worse.
Canadian incumbents Telus, Bell and Rogers have recently fired up attack campaigns
attempting to keep Verizon Wireless from entering their market. The campaign
uses incumbent employees reading from scripts to insist that Canadian telcos simply want a "level playing field" and that Verizon will kill jobs.
As we've noted repeatedly, ISPs are so hungry to cash in on caps and overages, they're rushing toward implementing meters without making sure they work. Canadian cable operator Cogeco has been the absolute worst on this front, implementing metered usage charges back in 2009 -- and four years later still often struggling to measure usage correctly. story continues..
Back in May our users uncovered a Canadian scam being run by several individuals who were pretending to be entirely fake ISPs
in order to collect customer cash and private user information. Using ISP names like "Cable Gator" and "Go Cable Solutions," the scammers promise users broadband service they can't get, demand $100 down payments and personal data including SIN and driver's license numbers, then skirt off with the cash.
It has been incredibly amusing to watch Canadian incumbents Bell, Telus and Rogers, no strangers to abusive and predatory anti-competitive behavior at every opportunity, kick, scream and cry about Verizon's possible entry into the Canadian market
. Now that the predators are having to fight a real predator and the possibility of real competition, they're doing what any good, anti-competitive incumbent would do: engage in propaganda, disinformation and astroturfing to confuse the public.
With the recent news that Verizon might be eyeing an entry into the Canadian wireless market, last week Canadian incumbent Telus began crying like a spoiled child
about the remote possibility that the Canadian market could see some additional competition. Telus, a company that like U.S.
As we noted yesterday
, Verizon Wireless is putting out feelers and exploring the option of an expansion into Canada, specifically in the form of buying up one of the nation's struggling smaller carriers. Not too surprisingly, incumbent operators there don't want this to happen.
According to the Globe and Mail
, Canadian incumbent Rogers is the latest ISP to try and battle Netflix by copying Netflix. The ISP is cooking up their own Netflix clone and is even considering creating their own original content, something that Amazon, Hulu and Netflix have all been exploring to lessen content licensing fees.
Fear that Canadian regulators were going to do their job has resulted in a welcome -- though likely brief -- return to unlimited broadband in Canada. Our friends to the north are well-known for some of the most predatory and punitive broadband caps and overages anywhere, courtesy of uncompetitive broadband markets and regulatory capture. story continues..
Users in our forums
note that Canadian cable operator Rogers Communications has made a return to offering unlimited broadband service -- as a limited time promotion. On the heels of a similar offer by Bell announced in January
, Rogers is informing users that they can eliminate the company's historically-draconion caps and overage fees if they pay an extra fee.
Two things you'll often hear defenders of usage caps on fixed line networks say is that the caps will scale with time as the network improves, and that the caps allow carriers to avoid having to raise rates because heavier users are now "paying their fair share." Except the lack of competition that allows low caps and high overages to exist in the first place is the exact same thing that allows a carrier to not only continue raising rates, but also to squeeze the cap ever tighter once it's in place. story continues..
Canadian ISP Telus this is providing the latest clear example of this.
It has been about half a decade now that I've been pointing out that most of the meters used by ISPs to track and bill consumers for usage aren't accurate. Customers of Canadian cable operator Cogeco have long complained the company's meter is inaccurate when users can load it at all
, and every so often the meter simply goes mad -- like last Spring when the meter was horribly confused by leap year
writes in to note that Rogers has not only acquired one of Shaw's cable subsidiaries, but will also be acquiring Shaw's Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) licenses as part of a massive, $700 million deal
. "It should be noted that Rogers was barred from participating in the auction for that wireless band because Industry Canada felt they already had too much of an advantage in the market," says the user. Shaw had acquired the spectrum in Canada's 2008 AWS auction for $189.5-million before deciding to focus on Wi-Fi.
Customers of Canadian cable operator Rogers already face some of the highest rates, lowest caps and highest overages in North America -- and now they're getting another rate hike. According to discussion in our Rogers forum
, the broadband portion of users' bills will be seeing a $3 hike, in addition to hikes for television and voice services.
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