Friday, September 24, 2010

Videotron Offers the Fastest Internet in the Country

internetvideotron I wish I lived in Quebec.

Today Quebec can add one more notch under their belt. Not only is Quebec the home of the Poutine, it now hosts Canada’s fastest Internet service. Videotron today launched their new 120 Mbps network for the tidy sum of $160 a month (Canadian), $150 if you bundle it with a TV subscription or Telephone service. The service does however come with an unfortunate cap of 170 GBs down and 30 GBs up, which begs the question of who this service is targeted at?

All of us geeks would die to have fast internet, but I have to believe that $160 is a bit much for most of us. If this service was priced under a hundred I could see some people going for it, but with a low cap of 170 GBs down, I can’t see anyone wanting to really pay $160 for it. Then again, maybe that’s just me.

By now some maybe questioning why I would call 170 GBs a low bandwidth cap? Well its simple, anyone that wants speeds of 120 Mbps is going to want to use it for just that, its amazing speed. And what would you need those speeds for? Online streaming and file downloads. For simple browsing, e-mail, you don’t really need a lot of speed, but where it becomes important is when you’re doing online gaming, online video streaming and downloading files. Another place where it would matter is if you wanted to run a server.

But we also need to look at the other possibilities, true HD streaming can happen at these speeds. Right now, services like YouTube and Netflix are really compressed and they don’t do 1080p, but with a 120Mbps you can do 1080p without all of the heavy compression. So when I see a price of $160 I have to think that part of the pricing is to try and protect Videotron’s other business of cable TV. If someone could pair a fast internet service with a Netflix, Boxee service I think a lot of people would begin to consider dropping their cable subscriptions, as many already have. But companies like Videotron wouldn’t want you to do that, so they need to keep the price high to protect their cable subscriptions.

In places like Stockholm, according to a Tipster at Engadget, you can get a 1 Gbps connection for about 900 SEK ($134.93 CAD, 130 USD). So in Stockholm you can get about 10 times the speed of Videotron’s offering for less. I just wished North America would start to catch up with the rest of the world and offer a real internet service instead of protecting their cable business. Then again, I can’t blame cable providers from not wanting to kill their cable businesses, as online revenues aren’t so grand.

So until cable companies can start to make money online, I guess we’ll all just have to dream about faster internet speeds.


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