Canada, the land of metered and capped Internet bandwidth (BOO!) and social healthcare (YEA!) and...I have to say it Luke, back bacon (Yea!). But back bacon aside, the important thing is that Netflix has taken a hard look at the service they're offering in the Great White North and have found some places where they can trim the fat (not off the bacon!)So here is the deal, some Internet backbone providers up there are proving to be the greediest of bastards as BCE Inc (Bell Canada Enterprises) is attempting to impose metering of data for both retail consumers and resellers leasing network usage. That certainly sounds like double dipping on the same data throughput to me and is extremely poor form in my book. I now dub BCE the AT&T of Canada, that is not a compliment, FYI.

Netflix has decided to help out and cut back on the data throughput while only mildly impacting video quality. They are now bandwidth light and using a full 2/3 less than before for standard streams. There are also two higher quality streams that will suck more bandwidth and all three will be available to all subscribers of the $7.99 streaming package.

Well done Netflix! They have managed to cut down streaming of "thirty hours of film or television from 30GB to 9GB." That's quite the accomplishment if indeed it doesn't impact picture quality. It also really helps them fit it into the horribly low data packages offered which are usually like 20-60GB.

I checked in on Bell Canada (the erstwhile villain of the story). They have a so-called 'performance' Internet connectivity package which offers 6Mbps and only 25GB a month. That's both skimpy and sad for $35 CAN a month. They should be ashamed of themselves. Their highest package, the Fibe 25 offers up to 25Mbps and a sad 75GB a month for $56 CAN. Plus, they are raising rates later this year. So, like I said, the AT&T of Canada as that Fibe package will be like $70 or about $1 per GB.

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What can Canadians get for their $7.99 on Netflix? Well more than 350 films were recently added to the catalog from Paramount Pictures in a deal which also saw Netflix nab first-run subscription television film right again, as I have been saying they should do, cutting out the middlemen (in this case Canadian companies Corus Ent and Astral Media according to Reuters). I sure wish Netflix would read ReelSEO and email me one day.

If you think what BCE is doing now is wrong, did you hear about their failed plan to charge ISPs a per-user fee? Apparently, it was so unpopular that the government got involved. So instead they moved from that plan to this new plan, which I bet will also, hopefully for the good of the Canadian people, get the government involved.

Reuters also said:

Canada's communications regulator will hold a hearing in July to decide what pricing arrangements should be in place for wholesalers. It does not plan to rule on what companies such as Bell can charge their own customers.

If you're in Canada and in the online video industry or just love your online video, you might want to hook up with and get involved with their petition to end metered Internet. If ISPs and network providers are going to start such underhanded tactics then it's time that you all get connected and fight back through whatever means necessary including political action.

  • newmythic

    Like hell it doesn't affect quality. What media company in their right mind would ever bring up bitrate as the most important element of video quality when the public hasn't started demanding it?

    • Christophor Rick

      It doesn't say that quality isn't impacted. It states that it is only mildly impacted. So your comment is moot really. It also says that the other two stream bitrates are still available so it's not even a reduction in service, it's a way for Canadians to stream their content while still having bandwidth caps...

      • CziuX

        "It states that it is only mildly impacted"

        Only gullible people with little video skills and knowledge like you think that lowering it this far is only going to "mildly" impact the quality....sigh. Do yourself a favor son and set the lowest quality; you'll be shocked, especially in action scenes.
        Mind you, we can still set the quality manually, put to override it for one single video, you need to change the global quality of all videos, which is just plain stupid, especially when you have multiple viewers in your household.

        • Christophor Rick

          Your derogatory tone is not appreciated. Go be a troll elsewhere thanks.

          As for your childish remark, "gullible people with little video skills and knowledge like you," it's readily apparent you don't read much so I shall help enlighten you.

          I could go on and on with a list of things I've written that talk directly about bitrate, etc. There are numerous ways that Netflix could have achieved this but I won't waste my time going into them for you. Any reduction in stream size is most assuredly going to affect the video quality but that all depends on numerous factors.

          Begone Troll!

  • Greg

    teksavvy ( has same high speeds and has an unlimited bandwidth usage for only $39.95 I believe..check them out..lets support the little guys..The hell with monopolies ;)

  • joshhh70

    i am a consumer. i am also a business minded person. clearly your interest in gaming has skewed the real deal... your facts are half assed. do some homework on the costs of operating a network and maintaining available bandwidth. if you are still of the same opinion after looking at the other side of the equation then maybe you have discovered something possible that today's network owners have not. in that case, write a book about how smart you are and go into the consulting field.