Home » Broadband "Shortage" »Canada »Competition »Consumer News »Data Caps »Net Neutrality »Public Policy & Gov't »Vidéotron »Wireless Broadband » Currently Reading:

Regulators Want to Know Why Vidéotron Has Room for Unlimited Data for Some Apps, Not Others

videotron mobileThe Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is asking some hard questions of Quebec-based mobile provider Vidéotron, which began zero-rating preferred partner music streaming services last summer that allow customers to stream all the music they want without it counting against their data cap.

The CRTC is examining whether the practice violates Canada’s Net Neutrality policies, which insist all content be treated equally.

“If, as Vidéotron has stated, congestion is manageable and there is no meaningful risk of service degradation as a result of offering Unlimited Music service, explain why Vidéotron did not either increase or eliminate data usage caps for your broader customer base instead of zero-rating certain applications or services,” the CRTC has asked.

Unlimited Music allows customers to stream Spotify, Google Play Music, Deezer and Canadian-owned Stingray Music without it counting against a customer’s allowance. Other streaming services do count, potentially putting them at a competitive disadvantage.

videotron_coul_anglais_webObservers say zero-rating enhances a customer’s perception that data has a measurable financial value, often arbitrarily assigned by competitors in a marketplace. If providers charge an average of $10 per gigabyte, customers will gradually accept that as the base value for wireless data, despite the fact many providers used to sell unlimited data plans for around $30. Zero rating content can be used in marketing campaigns to suggest customers are getting added value when a provider turns off the usage meter while using those services. Stream 3GB of music and a provider can claim that has a value of $30, but provided to you at “no charge.”

In the United States, most providers generally offer “bonus data” allowances in promotions instead of focusing on individual services. But T-Mobile goes a step further, also offering Music Freedom, a zero-rated music streaming service of its own.

Consumer reaction to the services are mixed. If a customer is a current subscriber to the preferred content, they often perceive a benefit from the free streaming. But customers looking to use a service not on the list may consider such plans unfair.

The CRTC will be awaiting Vidéotron’s formal answer.

Search This Site:

Contributions:

Recent Comments:

  • Todd: Would be nice to see them do something on the upload side....
  • Matt M: In a way, being stuck with DSL is a good thing when you consider how much more expensive broadband will get....
  • Paul Houle: Some notes. Bill Clinton was a member of the DLC when he ran for president. This book https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blinded_by_the_Right talks abo...
  • BobInIllinois: Funny how(in the top photo) that Al Gore stood by...... Al Gore became rich by selling the Current TV channel network to Al-Jazeera for $500 Million....
  • D.Stu: Is this a joke? " the FCC’s role is effectively reduced to a complaint letter-forwarder" ??? Where? Where does it say anything like that? "designed...
  • David: This is the most unreliable app I have ever used. Had tech here twice same solution from both of them. " well just unplug it and reboot. " I'm not ki...
  • elaine sullivan: This is so disappointing. I can not afford cable tv and we lost 8 channels today. There were several more removed earlier. PBS and local 4,5,7,9 are l...
  • elaine sullivan: This is so disappointing. I can not afford cable tv and we lost 8 channels today. There were several more removed earlier. PBS and local 4,5,7,9 are l...
  • Phillip Dampier: We do not know the locations at this time....
  • Bill Callahan: Buffalo? Syracuse?...
  • Fred Hall: Haha.....someone at Sinclair didn't provide enough "grease" for Ajit's palm...
  • Joseph Lindberg: I pay $93.45 for just TV select $6.00 or so for two TV boxes each the cheap ones not dvrs and $14.99 or something in tax and $64.99 for the TV select ...

Your Account: