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The Netflix Effect in Canada

Credit Suisse has conducted a study that unsurprisingly finds that Canadian ISP pricing leads to sticker shock for those subscribing to services such as Netflix.  That will only continue with ISPs such as Primus and Shaw introducing new limits on their bandwidth caps.


  1. Laurel L. Russwurm says:

    Stop Usage based Billing
    None of the Independent ISPs (like Primus) will have a choice about caps if the CRTC’s misguided Usage Based Billing ruling is allowed to stand. CRTC is allowing Bell to dictate price. (To stop Canadians from going online!)

    It will only get worse. After UBB puts the Independent ISPs out of business, Canada will have little or no hope of ever having meaningful ISP competition. As we clearly lack independent regulation.

  2. One thing people should do when using Netflix here is to, on their account, turn off HD. Without HD, Netflix doesn’t take up that much bandwidth. At least until the stupidity of our usage based billing is dealt with (though I don’t have much hope for that).

  3. usage caps are designed to limit competition
    You don’t think that the video-service-providing ISPs (i.e. Bell, Rogers, Shaw, Cogeco) came up with arbitrary usage cap values do you? Do you think that that 60GB/month is a number they pulled out of thin air?

    Absolutely not! It’s a very calculated number. It’s a number which will keep all e-mail reading and web-surfing (only) users happy but will absolutely prevent people from cancelling television sources from them and sourcing their television entertainment from another party (over the only high bandwidth medium they have into the home — broadband).

    In the US, Comcast’s cap is 250GB/month. For a television service, that’s almost adequate. Here where I live in eastern Canada, you can’t buy a bigger cap from Cogeco than 150GB/month and that costs you $100/mo. which is more than double the typical $45/mo. broadband package which only gets one 60GB/mo. without excess usage charges.

    So if I were to cancel my cable subscription ($45/mo.) and instead go for complete Internet delivery of my television content I’d have to pay $55/mo. more for an Internet connection to handle the bandwidth, and at that, I am likely to go over the 150GB/mo. and be charged for over-usage.

    Yes. 60GB is a very calculated number.

    When is the CRTC going to step in and put an end to this monopolistic predatory pricing?

  4. Bill MacEachern says:

    Hahahaha CRTC??
    Brian: When did you start believing this strange notion that the gov’t’s job is guarding your interests?? I mean, this is the same gov’t pushing C32, which is very much against the interests of ordinary Canadians.

  5. @Brian
    At least you can get up to 150G for relatively “cheap”. I would jump at $100. I can’t get passed 60G and I don’t get overages…all for $65/mo. When I hit 60G my Internet stops working and I have to phone them up to get more at a whopping $2/G (Minimum 10G). Now that being said, I do have the option to permanently add bandwidth to my account in 10G chunks at $15 per chunk. So it would cost me $200/mo to get 150G of bandwidth, which I would be hard-pressed to use up with my max 3Mbps account. (I could put up a tower so I could use a better radio and get up to 5.2Mbps, but why bother with such a low cap anyway and who wants an ugly tower in their yard?)

    Consumer demand will eventually force their hand and they’ll have to open things up. Otherwise they’ll face further piracy. Simply put. Why would I pay for a streaming service when, with limited bandwidth, I can download a copy from any number of sources…have it for multiple views and use less bandwidth. You can look at Netflix and say it only only costs $8/mo, but that doesn’t factor in the hidden cost of the used bandwidth.

  6. @Chris A: Dunno about Netflix but Sony Playstation Network encodes SD as 720×480 pixels AVC/AAC @ 2000 Mbps and HD as 1280×720 @ 6000 Mbps. Which roughly means a size ratio of 1:3 between SD and HD. The difference in quality is noticeable on larger screens (>40″). Yet if you have a large screen and want real HD go for Blu-Ray, they are usually encoded as 1920×1080 @ 25000 Mbps.


  7. More sheep, wool and covered eyes …
    “Consumer demand will eventually force their hand and they’ll have to open things up. Otherwise they’ll face further piracy.”

    And of course all the blame is on the ‘pirates’ for the creation of the ‘starving artists’. The real thieves are of course the industries. Open up the bandwidth caps and let artist/creators sell digitally directly to consumers. They will make way more money but the suits in the corporate office will now be the ones starving. Good or bad depending on your point of view but do not swallow the line that the suits are there to ‘save the artists’ 0_o

  8. @Napalm
    I watch Netflix through my Wii, which is not connected to the HD component in my TV, so the HD component is not important for me anyway (main reason for the Wii is I refuse to get an XBox Live Gold Subscription to watch Netflix). Not sure what their standard definition is, but I’ve watched multiple hours of TV in a day without my bandwidth being much higher over what I would do without watching Netflix by the end of the month. So if you are worried about your cap, and don’t mind the lower quality, you can keep Netflix pretty low that way.

    Unless Rogers is not counting Netflix traffic, which I would find really odd.

  9. Wholesale Electronics
    Wholesale Electronics

  10. UBB class action?
    Has anyone considered a class action suit against internet providers who opened this whole business with the promise of “unlimited” internet access in the late 90s, and have only reduced the limits (and raised the prices) ever since?

  11. UBB Class Action
    A group of Canadians are coming together to launch a class action regarding UBB, in particular how usage is measured – which they believe is unlawful. More information can be found here:

  12. Digital OTA is the cable competition
    The cable co’s have reduced Netflix to a rental serive instead of cable replacement in Canada but they can’t stop atsc digital over the air TV thanks to the FCC and it’- FREE!

    Get yourself an OTA PVR like the Magnavox H2160MW9 and your set for free HD TV without worrying about bandwidth. can tell you the channels you’ll get in your area.

  13. poor old movies, nothing new and good
    The Netflix Canada has only old movies, nothing new and good. I used to go on IMDB to check before watching a movie because I just want to loose my time with a dumb movie and believe me, there is no good movie on Netflix. There are oldies but goldies, good enough to warm your evenings but none on Netflix. I’m still wondering if is time to gave up on Netflix at least for now hopping that in one day they will start offering some good movies. Cheers from Toronto! Vic

  14. Give Teksavvy a change
    With Teksavvy, I pay 43$ for a broadband connection for 200g of bandwidth per month and am a monthly subscriber of Netflix. I’ve never gone over my cap (never needed to) and watch on a regular basis 3-4 movies a week on Netflix.

    Recommend you all give it a try.