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Rogers 'Elite' tier to expand speeds to 18 Mbps

Thu, 08/03/2006 - 8:53am
Jeff Baumgartner, CED

Canadian MSO Rogers Cable Communications is preparing to launch a residential cable modem tier that will cap the downstream at 18 Mbps and set a monthly consumption limit of 100 gigabytes. The MSO has yet to announce what upstream speeds will be supported by the faster tier.

The forthcoming "Rogers Yahoo! Hi-Speed Elite" service is set to debut in the fourth quarter of this year. Initially, the company plans to offer "Elite" in parts of Ontario and New Brunswick, provinces that presently market Rogers' "Extreme" tier, which offers speeds of 6 Mbps down/800 kbps up for $46.95 per month.

Among other tiers, Rogers' "Lite" service offers 1 Mbps/128 kbps for $31.95, and its "Ultra-Lite" tier provides 128 kbps/64 kbps for $21.95.

In comparison, Bell Canada, Rogers' primary competitor, offers an "Ultra" tier that caps the downstream at 5 Mbps. Other Bell Canada DSL tiers include "Basic" (1 Mbps), and "Basic Lite" (128 kbps).

Rogers will also continue the somewhat controversial practice of capping bandwidth consumption. The Elite tier, which will cost $99.95 per month, will cap monthly consumption at 100 gigabytes. Rogers will charge $1.25 per gigabyte beyond the set monthly limit.

Presently, Rogers cable modem customers can check their Yahoo! profiles to monitor how much bandwidth they have consumed during the month. The MSO is discussing a new system that will alert customers when they are approaching the consumption limit.

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