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And so it begins: Netflix forced to cut down data usage for Canadian subscribers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Mar 2011 10:53 User comments (8)

And so it begins: Netflix forced to cut down data usage for Canadian subscribers Netflix has confirmed today that the company has been forced to cut bandwidth to Canadian subscribers by over 65 percent, due to data caps imposed by Canadian ISPs like Bell and Rogers.
Says the streaming and rental company:

We made these changes because many Canadian Internet service providers (ISPs) unfortunately enforce monthly caps on the total amount of data consumed.

Netflix opened for business in Canada in September 2010, offering unlimited streaming for $8 per month.

Because of the cut back, Netflix says that users stream, on average, 30 hours worth of programming per month, but only use 9GB of data, enough to keep most users under their draconian caps. The company says before the throttling, some Canadians were using 70GB per month watching the same amount of programming in 720p.

Concludes the company:

While there is some lessening of picture quality with these new settings, the experience continues to be great.

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8 user comments

129.3.2011 11:21

I wonder if that is optional. For now the government has stopped UBB, so a lot of people still have unlimited bandwidth through other ISP's. I don't use netflix because the last time I looked, they didn't have anything worth watching.

229.3.2011 15:37

Hey Netflix Canada.
Nah-nah-nah-nah, nah-nah-nah-nah, hey-hey, goodbye...

The Canadian ISP consortiums that own the Canadian government have been keeping any telecom/cable competition out of Canada for years. Why would they allow Netflix to compete with their PPV channels?

What surprises me is that Netflix thought they could get away with it.

329.3.2011 17:06

And yet Netflix reported also the they opened stronger in Canada than they did the US, which is scary as Netflix hasn't been offered in Canada long. In all honesty I don't think Netflix is leaving Canada anytime soon, and as cable companies keep price gouging not just on the net but HDTV, Canadians will be more inclined to switch over to Netflix.

People in the US should be cursing at Netflix for down sizing files for Canada and not US as well, considering AT&T has recently decided to scrap unlimited bandwidth options to new customers and instead is going with Usage Billing. Other companies are likely to follow suit in the near future as they keep trying to find ways to scrape $ from consumers.

All in all I think Netflix made the right call here, for now; but for those consumers that still have unlimited or high bandwidth caps, they should have the option to getting a quality HD programming through Netflix that is offered anywhere else.

Confirmed today:

This article is a bit mis-represented; Netflix wasn't exactly forced into anything, they decided to offer the "choice" for Canadians who have lower bandwidth caps to accept lower quality streaming to enjoy more content without higher bills from their ISPs. Canadians that still want to op for the full quality that US and other countries receive, can still do so. See link below if interested. Call Netflix Canada for further questions if wanting know how it impacts you.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Mar 2011 @ 9:25

42.4.2011 12:09

Originally posted by joepet200:
Hey Netflix Canada.
Nah-nah-nah-nah, nah-nah-nah-nah, hey-hey, goodbye...
So you support the cable companies?

In one hand the cable companies are getting paid by Netflix for the bandwidth used. In the other hand the cable companies are charging their customers yet implementing a data cap.

It's a win-win for the cable companies. Customers are just getting screwed and you guys are ok with that, saying Netflix should scale back?

Media streaming is just starting to take off and instead of the cable companies investing in the future (upgrading their infrastructure) they sit back and screw over their customers because history has proven that they'll let them.


57.4.2011 11:48

Bell and Rogers definitely have a monopoly in southern Ontario. The CRTC has allowed them to have such. Netflix is the new kid on the block and are allowing customers to enjoy movies at a very reasonable cost. But oh no. Bell and Rogers have such a foothold on their customers that no one is allowed to compete with them. Netflix has complied to all of the CRTC,s demands and so why are they not allowed to provide a service to their customers to the best of their abilities. Bell Internet customers have capped their customers usage and implemented ridiculous over-usage charges on them. Our neighbors to the south have a lot faster service than Canadians will ever have. Fido USA advertises their service to be optic-fiber from coast to coast enabling them to have a service from Netflix that does not stop five minutes into a movie to adjust their output speeds. This inconvenience some times takes upward of five minutes and we only receive a 720p picture instead of a 1020p that is received in the states. I say that it is time the CRTC started working for the Canadian citizen and quit bowing to Rogers and Bell's demands. Bell has not installed fiber optic to its customers which in return puts a much greater burden on forty year old antiquated phone lines. If the CRTC had stopped Bell from buying out the CTV and A-Channel television networks then maybe Bell could afford to upgrade their systems. It is a monopoly and a ripoff to the Canadian customer. Canada at one time boasted about being a forerunner in technology and the internet. Well no more. We are at the other end of the spectrum and are being gouged by these CRTC made monopoly's. If the CRTC can not due Canadians a fare shake then why do we need them.

618.4.2011 00:03

There is a federal election in Canada on May 2, 2011.
Make the CRTC an election issue. The CRTC is at the mercy of Bell and Rogers who want the CRTC to force the other small Canadian ISPs to place bandwidth caps on their customers. Such a regulations has been twice defeated (or at least delayed) however it IS coming if we do nothing to stop it. Every corrupted CRTC official needs to be fired and then we can start fresh.

718.4.2011 14:56

Yes I agree 100% wit you. There is no doubt in my mind that corruption is a factor in the organization. I have written to the CRTC twice now and voiced my opinions. No surprise but no reply from them. The CRTC,Bell and Rogers are on my hit list. I will advocate anything or anyone to put a stop to this ridiculous monopoly playing.


823.7.2011 17:09
Common Man
Unverified new user

Broadband is not difficult and doesn't require telephone and cable companies. Make sure that you don't buy the arguments for your dependency on big media. Many startups of broadband via fiber, wifi, wimax or private technologies should eventually shrink those guys. Support startups. If you can purchase broadband from any source other than a telco or cable company it would be in your best interest to do so.

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