Canada has often been described as a gentle giant, but perhaps giant fool is more apropos, given comments made last week by chief content officer for Netflix, Ted Sarandos.
Sarandos was at a Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment conference in L.A., and was heard relaying some interesting facts about access to Internet in this country.
“It’s almost a human rights violation what they’re charging for Internet access in Canada,” he was quoted as saying by Gigaom, a business and technology blog.
And honestly, we couldn’t agree more. Canada has among the highest Internet rates in the world. Data packages on cell phones are also prohibitively expensive. It is cheaper to purchase a mobile phone in the U.S. and a package to go along with it, than here.
All three major market players have very similar packages and there are still people in Muskoka without access to affordable Internet.
Those unable to get high speed Internet have to rely on a hub. Here are the rates Bell Canada — whose customer service skills have deteriorated beyond redemption — charges: $45 will get you three gigabites (maybe a movie or two from Netflix) per month. From 3 GB to 5 GB costs $55, up to 10 GB will run you $70, and get this: usage above 10 GB will cost you a whopping 15 cents per megabite! Outrageous! What’s worse is that pricing seems completely arbitrary across the board.
Does our MP Tony Clement (not to mention our chambers of commerce, Muskoka Community Network and all the other organizations that should be lobbying to address usury when it comes to access to mobile technology and Internet) truly believe someone can run a business — or even work from their home in Muskoka – with those types of rates?
Where is all the money that FedNor has “invested” in Muskoka Community Network going? The money that was supposed to provide Muskoka with “access to affordable Internet”?
If you’re going to encourage people to telecommute, you’d better make sure the tools are available.
In Toronto, it seems $55 will get you 60 GB per month – a huge difference from 5 GB.
It’s like living in a Third World country. Why aren’t the feds investigating collusion among the big three providers? Oddly enough, they’re all charging comparative rates.
How can we be competitive when access to the World Wide Web is so expensive? How do we encourage our young folks to become more technologically savvy, when we have to restrict the amount of data they use for fear of breaking the bank?
Do we have to send them packing to a bigger metropolis? Do real estate agents need to start advertising access to high speed in Muskoka?
There was a time when unlimited meant unlimited. Take it up with your MP and make some noise. Is our federal government more interested in backing the big three service providers than Canadians?
Why are we being hosed?