Yesterday we noted that as expected, the CRTC's ruling last year resulted in higher rates, with independent ISP Teksavvy unveiling new prices
that for some users are up to 17% higher. The good news is that while Bell and other Canadian incumbents did get the authority to jack up prices on wholesalers (and by proxy consumers) they failed to get usage-based pricing imposed that would result in independents being unable to offer unlimited broadband tiers. As a result Teksavvy yesterday unveiled a number of unlimited broadband options for users, in addition to some interesting less-expensive value tiers.
On the heels of TekSavvy's announcement Canadian independent ISP Electronic Box has also taken to our forums
to highlight their new pricing for 2012. Like TekSavvy, Electric Box was forced to raise rates on some tiers because of the CTRC ruling. However, also like TekSavvy, Electric Box is offering users a number of new options that are cheaper than incumbent pricing. They're also offering new unlimited options for users tired of the low cap, high overage price gouging imposed by Canadian incumbents. The new pricing for cable customers (click to enlarge):
And here's the new pricing for DSL users:
Yesterday's TekSavvy announcement noted that the company is now not running the meters for users on their 300 GB capped DSL plans between 2 AM and 8 AM. Electric Box is taking that idea further (thanks to fewer users and less network strain), saying they won't run the meters on any DSL customers between the hours of 2 AM and 12 PM. Some users will see lower rates, especially if they're making the shift from incumbent ISP to independent. Still, by and large, broadband prices continue to rise for all Canadians because of the cap and overage pricing model (that's precisely what it's designed for).
While part of the story here is that the CRTC effectively allowed incumbents to jack up prices (already among the most expensive in the world according to OECD data
) for all Canadians, organized consumer outrage
forced the CRTC to back off a Bell and Rogers plan for usage-based billing that would have prevented independent ISPs from offering differentiated product. As a result of Canadian consumer activism, consumers at least now have a variety of choices (most importantly unlimited) should they not like the often draconian pricing and network management practices of companies like Bell and Rogers.