Telcos Rogers and Bell hike internet costs

Published On March 9, 2018 | By HN Staff | News

Bell and Rogers hike internet prices due to high demand. Photo courtesy of Wiki Commons.

Aleema Ali

Customers struggling with already high internet bills are about to pay a little bit more.

Big telco companies Rogers and Bell are hiking internet prices by up to eight dollars starting Monday March 12. Telus has also decided to call it quits with their bundle discounts.

The same three companies just raised their internet prices last year.

Rogers customer Everitt Barilla from Toronto said it’s hard to afford any kind of hike when you’re a student. He added he’ll have to find a better job to be able to afford the hike.

“Mix that in with cell phone bills and credit card bills, it becomes a bit of a problem,” Barilla said.

He said if it gets too out of hand, he’ll have to abandon Rogers.

“I’ll try to find a cheaper one. There’s a lot of internet providers these days. Maybe give Shaw (media) a try.”

According to a Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) report, the demand for internet is rapidly increasing. People are obsessed with mobile apps, live streaming video and social media, therefore demand is up. As of last year, more than three quarters of all wireless subscribers have a data plan, according to the report.

From 2015-2016 wireless data usage increased by almost 25 per cent and 23 per cent for residential internet.

“Canadians are shifting the way they use their mobile devices by placing an emphasis on data usage rather than voice services,” according to the report.

People all over social media are quite upset with the hikes.

Katy Anderson from OpenMedia, a consumer advocacy group, said although big companies like Rogers and Bell make a lot of money, they can still do as they please.

“You’re seeing hikes year after year after year and based on the enormous profits that we see Bell and Rogers and Telus reporting. Is it necessary? I’m not sure but they’re already making a ton of money so I would guess that it probably isn’t,” Anderson said.

Bell makes about 20 billion dollars in revenue, whereas Rogers makes over 10 billion dollars every year. Tellus makes just over 12 billion .

Anderson said this gives customers a good chance to seek alternative providers. According to her, the quality is the exact same with companies like Teksavvy and Distributel. Only downside they do not offer wireless data plans.

“It would be a good chance for customers to reflect on the services they’re getting and the prices they’re paying.”

She also touched on the fact Bell has been in the news recently for misinforming customers about what their plans offer and how much they cost.

“The customer service you’re getting from those [big] four is a little bit questionable,” Anderson says in comparison to Shaw media.

She said it does in fact add up with other bills just as Barilla expressed.

“Our mobile phones bills and our home internet bills just go up and up and it’s eating up a bigger percentage of our budgets. Canadians pay some of the highest prices both for landline internet and mobile internet in the world,” Anderson with regards to a CRTC report.

Bell and Rogers have not responded to calls.

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