News tagged: Rogers Hi-Speed
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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. There's currently no details on price, availability, or whether Rogers' video offering will be exempt from their historically-abysmal monthly usage caps.
"Its my belief that all (major cable operators) will roll out a Netflix competitor," insists David Purdy, vice-president of digital television products at Rogers. "Its a common strategy to try and figure out how to roll out products that allow viewers to binge watch and to offer all-you-can-eat movie services."
Except that since ISPs traditionally aren't very good at innovation on the content development front, these services usually aren't particularly well designed. Similarly, media empires aren't particularly good developing these services either, since the fear of eroding TV revenues results in them hamstringing their own product so it can't truly succeed (see: Hulu). Lucky for Rogers, they're both, which means double the fail.
But yes, other than that, every ISP should surely try to launch their own, sub-par video service that's sure to fail in the face of superior offerings from content companies that actually know what they're doing and are willing to be truly disruptive.
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.
The FCC has hired a new chief economist with a history of cheerleading broadband usage caps for the cable industry. According to the FCC, they've hired Steven Wildman, an economist and professor at Michigan State University, as the agency's new chief economist. story continues..
The law firm Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver (aka the U.S. Copyright Group) has perfected the "copyright-o-matic
" approach to P2P lawsuits, sending out letters en masse to users they've identified as having traded copyrighted files, threatening to sue those users unless they settle for the rock-bottom initial price tag of $1,500.
User in our Rogers forum
point out that the Canadian cable company has bumped speeds for most of their usage tiers, but has decided to leave usage caps for those tiers largely the same. An e-mail being sent to users indicates that Rogers customers will start seeing the faster speeds starting December 1.
FCC boss Julius Genachowski has been busy lately paying lip service to Silicon Valley, most recently telling a bunch of Silicon Valley conference attendees that caps were something we should be "concerned" about
, after telling cable companies just a few months earlier he thought caps and overages are nifty and innovative
. Speaking again to Silicon Valley folks yesterday at a speech
at Vox Media headquarters, Genachowski hashed out his muddy position a little further, again insisting he was "concerned" about caps -- sort of -- maybe:
(Growing usage) presents challenges for broadband providers in managing the growing loads on their networks while earning returns to drive capital investment in network upgrades and expansion.
Canadian regulators are suing Canadian wireless companies for misleading charges related to various text message, ringtone and other frequently-shady services that can carry hidden fees. According to a report in the Globe and Mail
, Canada's Competition Bureau is suing Telus, Rogers, BCE and the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association for violating the misleading advertising portion of the Competition Act.
A user of the Canadian cable company Videotron posts to our forums
claiming that his WEP-secured router was hacked, resulting in a third party using his bandwidth. Because Videotron (like most Canadian ISPs) imposes caps and charges overages, the user says the intrusion resulted in a rather steep broadband bill in upwards of $600.
We recently noted how a long-standing practice of Canadian ISPs to impose bogus fees below the line in order to jack up the advertised price (also very common here in the States) was coming back to bite them. A lawsuit filed against Bell, Telus, and Rogers for a completely nonsensical "system access fee" has been allowed to move forward
, and the suit has several of the companies scrambling.
One of the numerous problems with fixed line bandwidth caps (aside from them being totally unnecessary technologically or financially and potentially anti-competitive
), is the fact that once imposed, companies in uncompetitive markets just can't help themselves and wind up continually squeezing the noose -- even as the cost to provide service is reduced. Investors want their quarter over quarter returns, and caps provide an easy way to milk additional revenues out of users for the exact same product.
Just like telcos in the States, Canadian incumbents charge a universe of bogus fees
that simply act to jack up the advertised price post sale. It technically should be a considered false advertising and a crime, but it's something regulators generally couldn't care less about.
Despite being among the most price-hike aggressive (not to mention throttling and cap heavy) carriers in North America operating in many of the least competitive markets, Canadian cable operator Rogers says the company will be cutting 400 more jobs
in order to counter "revenue pressures." The cuts come on the heels of the elimination of 300 positions earlier this year. In April, Rogers posted a profit of $305-million on $2.95-billion in revenue for the first quarter -- while Rogers CEO Nadir Mohamed pulled in compensation of $8.18 million in 2011. "...A difficult day for everyone but we're really focused in the future on alternative revenue sources and driving the growth of the business," says Rogers spokeswoman Patricia Trott of the layoffs.
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Recent news contributorsKarl Bode , JKukiewicz , swintec