Bell Canada is enhancing monthly prices for a number of its residential communications services, including family TV and internet packages, beginning in February. The increases will primarily impress customers in Ontario and Quebec.
According to the Bell Canada website, the fee increases are as follows:
- $3 per month for Fibe TV service in Ontario and Quebec (excluding the starter container).
- $3 per month for satellite TV service in all regions (excluding the starter package).
- $5 per month for all internet access incorporates in Ontario and Quebec (excluding dial-up and the “high speed LD bundle”).
- $2.51 per month for home base phone packages in Ontario.
Bell’s “Fibe 25” home internet blueprint, listed as the company’s most popular plan, will cost $74.95 per month for Ontario buyers after the Feb. 1 increase.
‘Very, very significant increase’
Bell’s assess increases are “a very, very significant increase on prices that are already mere, very high by international standards,” said Dwayne Winseck, a professor with Carleton University’s Secondary of Journalism and Communication who studies the Canadian communications industry.
Winseck demanded it’s common for Canada’s major communications players to raise prices close the beginning of the year, adding he wouldn’t be surprised to see similar price hikes from other incumbents, equal to Rogers, soon.
In an email statement, Bell spokeswoman Caroline Audet tie up the price increases to Bell’s infrastructure investments.
“Bell invests numberless than any other communications company to deliver the best broadband networks for our people, even as customer usage continues to grow significantly (40 per cent in the nearby year alone), and innovative new features and upgrades to products such as our Fibe TV app,” she wrote.
“Patrons were informed of the changes with their December bills.”
Hike comes after contender cuts
Bell’s decision to raise rates on home internet combines comes after third-party competitor TekSavvy announced it would move its home-service rates in response to an October ruling from the CRTC, Canada’s telecommunications regulator.
That chiefly decreed that incumbent providers like Bell were caring their smaller competitors too much for wholesale access to parts of their network infrastructure. The CRTC ordered them to take a break doing so.
“Bell’s price hikes come at the worst possible prematurely, just as many people are trying to nurse their bank rests back to health after the holidays,” Katy Anderson, a digital rights professional with advocacy group OpenMedia, said in a news release.
Anderson needed for “government action to lower prices, invest in infrastructure and open our networks to make safe more affordable providers can compete fairly.”
While the CRTC has charmed action on wholesale prices, Winseck said he doesn’t expect the regulator to contribute to similar moves on retail prices, like the ones Bell has created.
“We’ve seen a move away from retail rate regulation for upwards two decades now — not just in Canada but around the world.”