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$20 is the new nickle and dime in Canada

 4:14 pm on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

I was comparing internet and cable rates and policies between Canada and the U.S. and some of the differences are startling.

- U.S. for $25 a month you can get unlimited bandwidth without throttling of any kind if you look hard enough.

- Canada for $30+ a month you can get 50 MB of bandwidth that is throttled to under 1MPS. For an additional $20 you can raise the bandwidth to 8MPS and for an additional $20 you can raise it to 15+MPS. Yet another $20 will also allow you to increase the total bandwidth usage by 15 MB. For $20 more you can buy unlimited speed for a day, but you'd better spend $20 to increase bandwith or you'll speed by your limits and incur surcharges, in $20 increments up to $50 max. Don't worry, you can buy mini-packs of additional bandwidth for, you guessed it, $20.

In other words what U.S. citizens enjoy for the price of a Pizza is going to cost the price of a dinner at a nice restaurant, complete with a decent bottle of wine in Canada, $20 per bottle too.

A look at the difference in cable rates and it's the same.
- U.S. for $25 a month you can get a basic cable package that includes a lot of channels, twice as many as you receive in Canada for the same price.

- Canada for $20 a month you get basic cable of less than 20 channels, half of those being shopping network and government news related. For another $20 you can get a 5 channel movie package that shows only old movies. For another $20 you can buy a 10 channel package if the basic channels aren't enough. Another $20 increases that to a 30 channel package. You've also got to pay $20 for a cable box if you don't want to spend $5 a month to rent one indefinitely.

I should point out that in Canada regulations prohibit or make competition exceedingly expensive. The major cable network is owned by the phone company who also owns the major broadcasting company, a virtual monopoly with deep ties to political circles. Sure you can bypass it all with something like Netflix but then you're going to burn up your internet bandwidth quickly and they still have your money, $20 at a time.

My conclusion - getting an extra $20 out of you doesn't involve providing additional services in Canada, it involves slicing up what you may want into as many $20 pieces as possible! I wonder if Canada will let go of the monopoly or if the U.S. will raise fees to match, then the difference won't be as startling and what's common is accepted.

As the U.S. continues to fight for net neutrality and such remember to take a quick peek over the northern border to see what it might be like without rules prohibiting bandwidth throttling etc.


Tropical Island

 10:59 pm on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm a Canadian living in South America and every couple of years we make a trip to both the USA & Canada, most recently in May of this year.

The cost differences between the US & Canada are striking and without any logical reasons.

We ate at an Applebee's in Ontario and then again in the US mid-west. The price for the same meal was double in Ontario.

Let's not even get started on things like beer or cigarettes which in Canada are heavily taxed.

Part of the problem was that the CDN$ was 1.20 to buy US$1 however as of today it is actually at CDN$0.99 for US$1. The prices have not adjusted with the new reality.

It's always a shock for us to travel up north. Where we live a bottle of beer costs US$0.23 and a US gallon of gasoline costs under US$0.05. Yes, that's right!


 11:27 pm on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Perhaps its time to turn those provinces into states and tear down the border. Think of the benefits.

The National Hockey League would truly be national.

We could replace the all seeing eye on our dollars with a maple leaf. Google could then adopt the all seeing eye into their logo.

French would no longer be a foreign language.

Great beer eh.

Mounties would be right at home in Florida.

[edited by: ron15 at 11:41 pm (utc) on Oct 27, 2011]


 11:38 pm on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

The cost differences between the US & Canada are striking and without any logical reasons.

Those crazy Canadians and their socialized medicine. What's next, gun controls? They don't even make any sense.

The best part is getting them to say the sentence "I was out and about in a boat".


 11:57 pm on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

French would no longer be a foreign language.
Québécois bears as much relation to modern French as does Cajun..;-)...dream on :)

The best part is getting them to say the sentence "I was out and about in a boat".

Used to be able to crash win98II by setting up a text to speech engine and then getting the built in MS voice "Mary" to say "grenouille"..( she would go into a kind of infinite "loop" on the last syllable, and you'd have to kill the program ) IME most A'merkins have the same problem with that word, and "trompe l'oeil"..:)

Those are really nasty expensive broadband deals there in Canada though..ouch!


 1:20 am on Oct 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

The best part is getting them to say the sentence "I was out and about in a boat".

That's only out East, not all of Canada has that accent.

It would be like saying... try to get an American to pronounce idea without an "r" at the end. Or to use the word everybody instead y'all.

You want to see real price disparity look at cellphone packages out here. They are insane. However we don't have AT&T so that is a plus. Also because of the smaller population the networks on cellphones are way better than in the USA.


 5:38 pm on Oct 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

To get back on topic what do you think the future holds, will the U.S. attempt to nickle and dime $20 at a time too or will U.S. regulations become more common in Canada, hopefully leading to a ban on limiting bandwidth (speed and amount)?

To put it into perspective if you want to download World of Warcraft for example, in Canada on the basic plan that's a 2 day download if you refuse to reward the internet company by paying for incremental speed packages. In the U.S. you're good to go in 20-25 minutes.

Or, want to watch Netflix? You cap your basic bandwidth allotment after 5-6 movies in Canada rendering the service worthless, convenient since the internet company also is the cable company with instant movie downloads for $5.99 a piece (soon to be $20 no doubt).


 11:36 pm on Oct 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Sgt, I have the basic Internet package from Shaw. I regularly get download speeds of over 2MB/s

I have downloaded WoW on a couple computers (for my son) and it never took more than an hour. So I am not sure where you are getting your numbers for your math but it is no where near that slow. Not even close. Maybe a dial up service but not on a DSL or Cable connection.

I have also never been denied Internet service because of any cap. The smallest cap I have seen is 400 gig/ month. That is a lot more than 5-6 movies unless they are 80 gig files.

I guess I have had the same package for over 10 years so it is likely they have reshaped them and I am not aware but I have never been capped or waited long for downloads.

In our home my son will be playing Xbox live, chatting on some steam thing, while my wife and I watch a movie on Netflix, while my work computer is transferring large amounts of data for backups, all at the same time with no slow down issues ever.

Honestly though pretty much everything in Canada costs more than in the USA for the same thing. Companies here pay a lot more in taxes than in the USA so I think that is the main reason. If the trade off is pay a little more for eveything and have roads that aren't decaying and health care that doesn't require a loan then I am ok with that, but I don't like the trend of caps... there is no need for it with our tiny population and massive infrastructure.

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