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Bell Canada dishes up a la carte TV in Quebec

Tue, 02/16/2010 - 7:40am
Mike Robuck

On Friday, Bell Canada announced that it would provide a la carte TV services to its Quebec customers as it tries to lure away subscribers from cable operator Vidéotron.

According to CBC News, the new options allow TV customers to subscribe to individual channels instead of bundles that include channels they don’t watch.

In order to tailor their TV options, Bell Canada customers have to subscribe to a basic $25 package before they can choose 15 q la carte channels for $15, 20 channels for $19 or 30 channels for $22. Bell Canada is also offering individual channels for $2 a shot, according to CBC.

Vidéotron’s version of a la carte includes a basic service starting at $37 per month with up to 15 extra channels.

Bell Canada has seen customer churn ever since Vidéotron started offering phone service five years ago. Two years ago, Vidéotron was the first large cable operator in North America to offer its customers a DOCSIS 3.0 service.

Currently, Bell Canada doesn’t offer a la carte options in Ontario, but Rogers Communications does on top of its basic tier for about $2.79 per channel.

In response to the competitive environment with Vidéotron, last week Bell Canada said it was embarking on a three-year network infrastructure upgrade in Quebec that will include fiber-to-the-home connections for a data service with a 100 Mbps downstream speed.

For years, former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin carried the torch for a la carte channels in the United States but was ultimately unsuccessful.

More Broadband Direct 2/16/10:
•  Cox Business connects Hampton University
•  Verizon to allow Skype calls over wireless network 
•  Bell Canada dishes up a la carte TV in Quebec
•  Sigma Designs plans 3-D chips for set-tops, TVs
•  Qwest's Q4 profit falls 39%
•  New data: 40% in U.S. lack home broadband
•  WiMAX races hard against debut of 4G
•  GSMA backs voice over LTE initiative
•  Wireless carriers unite on mobile apps project
•  Alcatel-Lucent unveils cloud-based dev platform
•  Broadband Briefs for 02/16/10

 

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