Canadian carriers should offer unlimited data: Toronto City Council to CRTC


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  • Do the telecoms think that Internet just sits in a water tower and can only be filed once a month?

    • K_p0w3r

      That’s what they want you to think. That and you probably make more money charging by the amount of data than throughput despite the latter making more sense given their arguments that there’s a limited network capacity.

  • saltorio

    I can see the CRTC mandating unlimited data as an option available on all mobile carriers. And I can see the Big 3 then all charging $400/month for it.

    • hardy83

      Most likely. They can demand an option, but unless there’s only one carrier in the area, controlling prices is something they don’t really do.
      I see them demanding an unlimited data option (with throttling probably) in the GTA, but won’t dictate prices, but if they make that option nationwide, they MIGHT control prices in regions where there’s only on company offering service, like in the territories somewhere or rural areas.

    • demigod79

      I think that’s why they included the words “reasonably priced” in their request.

    • compared to todays plans, $400 is reasonable for unlimited.

  • TomsDisqusted

    Great, more plans with super complicated conditions and restrictions – more game playing, like unlimited plans in every country – rather then just giving up some real competiton and the cross the board price decreases that we really need.

  • Jim__R

    You guys in Toronto must feel pretty happy not having a single pothole that needs fixing.

    • Dimitri

      Oh believe me there is alot to fix in Toronto.

    • With our smooth streets and robust subway system, it is only fitting that our tax dollars go to them helping the CRTC by getting us better cell plans and Norm Kelly tweeting beefing with celebrities.

  • demigod79

    Yaasssss! This is the one thing I want from my mobile carrier. Give me this one thing and I’ll finally be happy with my mobile plan.

  • Mawhayden

    The point is not to have unlimited Data, unlimited Data is a Marketing Term. What is needed is the cost of Data is about Double what it is in the US. Give the people of Canada a reasonable Data cost that the carriers can provide growth for themselves, while giving Canadiens a reasonable price for Data. I truely believe that this compromise will provide the companies with profits without bankrupting the wireless users.

    • Techguru86

      they own the markets in cable, internet ,hp and mobile, screw the big 3

  • unlimited data plans starting at $400 CAD before any add-ons. lol No thanks. I am happy with the old 6 gb for $60.

    • vn33

      Similarly, I will not give up my 6Gb/$50 Corporate plan . especially now that I’m no longer with that employer.

    • Same here. The new plans are punishment for leaving your carrier

  • Benjamin Lehto

    What is needed is that the Big 3 and their sub brands need to stop charging for overages and simply do what Freedumb does, throttle but still give you somewhat useable service.

  • Khalid .

    We don’t need the CRTC/Government getting involved in regulating pricing. What we need is the exact opposite. Loosen up the regulations and let in 100% foreign companies. Bring in real competition and get rid of the illusion of competition orchestrated by the 3.

  • Lyn

    I think that the city of Toronto should be legislated into offering a reasonably priced unlimited water plan. I can run my water all day and night, but never have to pay more than say, $100/month.

    • Eluder

      There’s a big difference here, water isn’t unlimited, zeros and ones in digital are. Worst analogy I’ve ever heard.

    • SV650

      Not really. One of the major issues with water delivery is that if everyone opened their tap at the same time, the big pipe is not large enough to fill all the small ones simultaneously, and everyone suffers with low, or no water pressure. If you are looking at the 0’s and 1’s as being the resource, then you are correct, however, the issue is how much ‘pipe’ do you want to pay for to get the volumes of data through to meet everyone’s unlimited data wants.

    • K_p0w3r

      That analogy still makes no sense as the way most mobile services work they are connected all the time weather your using it or not (things “magically” appearing on your phone and alike). plus unlike physical pipes, network connections can be throttled at any time (or in your case the water pressure can be regulated at nearly every level of the infrastructure so it does even out). The internet is not quantifiable in the same way as physical resources, as much as the big 3 want you to believe.

  • Geoff Woods

    How about they allow you to roll your unused data from one month into the next or buy a years worth of data. 3gb x12. Some months I don’t use it and other months I blow through it with ease. Let me manage the years worth, not just the month.

  • Bob Loblaw

    Why bother complaining to the CRTC when they’re clearly in on the take. Robellus pays them off.

  • jon

    The Us unlimited plans with all the limitations

    1 can only stream in 480p
    2 can’t​ tether yoir phone
    And they go on.

    • MrQ

      not really. Look at Tmob’s plan

  • Ricky Bobby

    John Tory must feel offended by his own council bad mouthing his buddies at Rogers

  • Brandon Arneson

    I’m happy with my LTE Ready Everywhere59 plan from freedom mobile with unlimited data when I’m in the home zones and when I’m roaming off the big3 carriers. I get 8gb at high speed for the home network and 1gb at high speed for roaming. And once lte gets launched edmonton and the 5 surrounding cities with home network coverage this summer and I upgrade to the Galaxy A5 I’ll have lte access when in the home network and when I’m roaming off the big3 networks thanks to lte roaming as well as 3G

  • Techguru86

    Lol Bells answer is complete crap unless they are speaking of the Que and Sask plans which almost nobody has access too, Rogers didn’t even answer the question just sugar coated a crap answer, only downfall with Freedom is you need band 66 or your in eastern ontario but now with LTE if you get throttled you’re probably still running decent speeds with no overages. Horrible spell check by MS though

  • Omar

    Wouldn’t that be nice.

    I think Wind/Freedom found the best middle ground, unlimited data but if you go over a limit you get slowed down. 5GB @ LTE speed, 5GB @ 3G speed, then unlimited at 2G speed. Something like that seems reasonable and realistic.

    I get some can’t fathom the idea of having to use 3G speeds again, but really… It isn’t that bad. And yes, I still use 3G, I’ve avoided losing my old Wind plan to get Freedoms LTE.

    • MrQ

      That’s how it is usually done in USA and other countries too.
      In USA it is 22GB at full speed and then slowed down I think.

      Some other countries do 1GB/day then slow down

      they have to protect their cable/dsl internet plans too

    • Omar

      1GB/day seems overkill but that would be perfect. If you go over 1GB of data a day you deserve to get slown down lol.

    • dirtyKIMCHI

      Actually, as Freedom has yet to change their Data Fair Usage Policy since the rebrand & launching LTE, once full speed LTE data runs out, Freedom throttles down to 256kbps. There is no middle ground.

    • Omar

      Sorry, to clarify I wasn’t saying that’s how it to is. I was saying that’s how it should be.

    • dirtyKIMCHI

      Wholeheartedly agree with you there. It should be as you stated.

  • Nicolas S

    HA! The CRTC is a joke. They are like the police in my home country. Gangsters would jump them and steal their cruiser than stroll around town with the sirens on while drinking beer. HA HA!

  • Justin

    As per the (old) current (bell)MTS flat-rate data in Manitoba (keep that in mind), allows up to 15GB at 4G LTE speeds…then throttled to F*** all. Lol

  • Heretic

    The thing about unlimited plans is a few people abuse it and wreck it for the others. However, if they simply throttle the data that would be ok for virtually everyone. I do not own a cell company and do not have the knowlege to say what would and would not work… HOWEVER, I would strive to offer the unlimited plan that would allow for unlimited 1 meg up/1 meg down connections. (this allows 360p streaming) for a resonable price. If it was me, I would be willing to pay $20-$25 a month for this. Could even run this on the 3g network for people who want it leaving the LTE band open of people ok with $100+ phone bills.

    • K_p0w3r

      I think you’re aiming a bit low. ideally, give everyone base unlimited data but throttle it to 5-10Mbps at say $20.00-$25.00/month. However from there, you create priority data plans where you would get a set amount of data (2-4Gb or whatever) that is essentially free from throttling restrictions. you could probably even add on-demand plans where you pay say an extra 10$/month for every additional Gb of priority data you use. The ability to switch it on would be in the carriers app (hey a reason to actually have it pre-installed!) as well as set the limit or allow overages. It shouldn’t collide with Net-neutrality since its based on the amount of data and not the content of it and the Big 3 can still make a profit accordingly. 5-10 Mbps is fine for most day to day stuff but people want things instantly and would be willing to pay extra to do so.

    • Heretic

      I think if it was 10Mbps then it then become abused and discontinued since people would simply use it for their home internet service. If you limit it to 1 Mbps, it remains usable for 1 connection (like a phone or tethered to a computer, but if it was 10 it could serve a whole house load and rack up the usage 10X fold- hence leading to its cancellation.

    • K_p0w3r

      fair enough, I just know personally as someone who was capped at 5Mbps down on cable, its maybe fast enough to watch a few videos but Is nowhere near enough for a modern home-network. At least in my use cases.

    • Heretic

      I would love it to be 3 Mbps for $20, but in that scenario, I would be one of the abusers. lol. I would order 2 lines and have 1 for myself for my home net and 1 for my kid and his home net. I live out in the country so I have fixed expensive wireless…

    • K_p0w3r

      Ah that makes more sense. I’ve got family members who live in the country still on Wi-Max with who knows what speeds. I could defiantly see 3Mbps unlimited at $20.00/Month being more than reasonable for all parties. Just enough to make you want more.

  • fruvous

    Unlimited data plans usually mean unlimited monthly charges from the big 3.

  • The Hammer

    I understand the benefit of mandating all plans to carry an element of data at reasonable prices. But to mandate unlimited data is a careless and uninformed demand by city officials. Do your homework councilors before your demand and support.

  • Jacky5311

    Great idea, especially if they structure it how wind used to throttle speeds after going over a cap, data overages are way too expensive in this country.

    • blzd

      Yes the most annoying part is being charged overage fees. It’s very easy to use a few gigs of data in an hour now with HD streaming.

      They want to sell us fast speeds that we can’t actually use.

  • Frank Kolic

    They’ll offer it as soon as one of the American wireless companies move up here. Just like all the gyms started dropping they’re rates as soon as planet fitness moved up here

  • Luft_Kopf

    And every restaurant must offer an all-you-can-eat buffet.

    • K_p0w3r

      if we had replicators and only had to pay a regular flat fee for the electricity and maintenance of those machines. Sure why not. Otherwise the analogy doesn’t work.

  • Julian Nicolai

    Well it’s a good thing they aren’t talking about bandwidth are they? They are talking about data, the AMOUNT to be used. Speeds can and are regulated, but the amount shouldn’t matter. In addition, as stated in the article, the US has had no problem releasing unlimited data plans–for affordable prices I might add–so why can’t we?

    • Matt

      The US has 380 million people, 10x the population of Canada. Major American carriers have more customers than our entire population. When you have that many more people to profit off of you can offer unlimited speeds. Also they have more of a dense population, it’s easy for Toronto to ask for Unltd data they have a dense population, what about Picton Ontario, or Cold Lake Alberta? The thing people forget is that these are companies that are built around making money and why shouldn’t they be able to profit if people are willing to pay? there were better unlimited options like this article states, however what it fails to mention is that these companies weren’t able to be profitable and had to be purchased before going bankrupt (and then all the spectrum goes back to the gvt to resell) if you want to see costs cut in Canada let’s start off with eliminating multi billion dollar spectrum auctions by the Canadian government

    • Julian Nicolai

      As I said before, we are not talking about SPEED we are talking about DATA. In GB/MB, not Mb/s. In response to companies making money, yeah. You’re right. They are made around making money. But that’s the PROBLEM, it always is and has been the problem. These companies found that they can make the most money by destroying real competition (wind, mobility, etc.) that did offer unlimited data and force people to go with the more expensive, shittier company(s). Much like the American healthcare system, companies charge exorbitant prices because 1. who else are you going to get for your heart surgery? 2. you aren’t going to say no I’m not going to get heart surgery. Thereby forcing you to pay whatever insane price they set. It’s the same with telecom companies. Who else are you going to go to that offers anything different? You can’t say no to it (exceptions apply, but the point stands). This is where the government needs to step in and say, no you can’t take advantage of desperate people.

    • Matt

      To your first point, speed is partially the issue, people want the fastest thatbthey can get and the best service, if that wasn’t the case Wind/Mobilicity/Public Mobile would have been successful. Wind should have dominated the GTA with their plans but people would try them out and then switch back to one of the big 3 (usually their sub brands) simply because they did not like the inconvenience of a dropped call or slower data speeds.
      To compare this to healthcare in the US is a bit extreme, you *Need* heart surgery, no one needs a smartphone with unlimited data, that is a want. I am on board with the theory that a cell phone is a requirement of today’s society however for $50 a month you can easily get unlimited calling and a mid tier smartphone that ensures in case of emergency you can make a phone call.

      Now let’s say you *want* more than that, is $80 a month too much to ask for 4GB of high speed LTE, unlimited calling and text and a $0 down mid-high tier device for 2 years? I really don’t think so and this offer is currently available at any Koodo or Fido across Canada (and cheaper in certain provinces) but there are lots of people that blindly renew their contracts with ROBELUS and then complain that they are paying too much.

      Finally regarding the government stepping in to regulate that is not their job in an open market and if they are going to do this I would really hope that they also step in to start capping and regulating the cost of gasoline and hydro as well, can’t cherry pick who to attack about gouging their customers when in a lot of cases at least in Ontario you can’t even shop around for better hydro rates and every gas station always seems to change their price the same day to within a few cents of each other

  • Dylan Pomeroy

    And have people that absolutely waste their data up the average cost of all data plans for the rest of us? No thank you. Teach your kids to turn on their WiFi when they get home.

    • Chris

      “waste their data?” I don’t think you understand the power behind their infrastructures and how little they cost to run compared to how much they charge us.

    • Mawhayden

      Have you been in a crew or department that has built any Telecom system, just curious if so which one?.

    • Chris

      I’m a fibre splicer at Bell. Have experience in CO equipment, line work and copper splicing.

    • K_p0w3r

      Glad to see so many indoctrinated members of the church of Robellus joining Disqus today 🙂
      Welcome to Real world, were here for you when you’re ready.

  • K_p0w3r

    Teens can do that now. most high school kids are on family plans and rarely pay themselves. also I’m sure the #teenshitcast movement plays a huge role in determining the data-caps and not just typical greed

  • Stephen_81

    I would love to see Unlimited Data options, I’d pay $10 more a month to have throttled 3G data after my family plan hits the 10GB, instead of paying the full pop overages. I think unlimited data is a great concept if we use a fair use model.

  • Alecta

    It would be nice if Canada joined the 21st century in telco. What we get for the exorbitant prices we pay is a crime. Yeah yeah, smaller market, but we also only have two major carriers (and that, children, is the problem!) to split the smaller pie. Rogers and Bell can charge too much for too little because they have no other competition and the government isn’t regulating them.
    As for “abuse”, what? How will others using more data do diddly to you? The amount of data effects no one. It’s bandwidth that matters.

    • Stephen_81

      Having done a LOT of traveling, while I am not a fan of how much I pay for Mobile in Canada, we have very much Joined the 21st century and are leaders in it. My Speed consistency and my voice clarity in Canada in every province I’ve been in has been excellent, I can’t say the same about my connectivity with AT&T, Verizon, Orange, T-Mo in their respective countries, that are “leaders”. let alone the Caribbean nations services which barely maintain solid connections.

  • Benjamin Lehto

    I would love to hear from an unbiased and qualified person who can shed some light on whether unlimited, like in the States, could be done in Canada.

    Population density argument and every other reason for why it cant, being explained.

    Either they can or they can’t, or they choose not to in order to keep profits as high as they are.

    • Badwithnames14

      Population density can’t be that much of a factor here, sure Canada a lot of undeveloped land, but the cell companies just don’t cover all of it. Ever notice how spotty coverage maps can be? I live in Victoria, and it’s not that small of a city, PEI is smaller, and it wouldn’t take much to lose a cell signal. Just go out past Sooke and soon enough you’ll be isolated from modern communication.

      Then again I have no professional background to verify this speculation.

    • Stephen_81

      Canada could very much do an Unlimited Data option where we pay for X amount of LTE/HSPA+ data, once you’ve passed that amount you are dropped down to HSPA data speeds. But This option would certainly see people like myself any many others shave their data plans down a little lower since right now I keep a 2GB data cushion over my expected usage in case kids/wife ignore the warnings I’ve set on their devices. With a throttling plan I’d drop the 2GB cushion. That is one reason the Carriers wouldn’t adopt US like Plans.

      Additionally in Canada we have different Net Neutrality rules than they do in the USA, so some of the streaming options offered in the US that don’t count toward your data caps, and the limiting of video streaming options they offer, we don’t let the carriers do here. It is Good and Bad for us, they can’t hinder our ability to enjoy the internet, but they also can’t offer unmetered features.

      From the economic stand point, we will remain more expensive regardless, Our population is far more spread out in Canada, and our carriers actually have done a pretty great job at keeping most of the business/trucking lanes in Canada covered with mobile signals, I’ve had way more reliable coverage in Canada under both Bell & Rogers coast to coast than I have with Verzion or AT&T in the US, AND we tax much more aggressively than the US does.

      If we stopped caring about Canada as a country and focused purely on Greater city areas like the GTA, GVA, GMA, we would have the population per tower requirements to actually have low cost service, but thankfully most Canadians still aren’t selfish and want ONLY for themselves. Though that is changing more and more sadly.

  • Shawn

    Sasktel used to offer a unlimited data plan (throttled at 15GB to less than dial up speeds though!), however they recently phased this plan out.

    In 2012 I had their “ultimate 65” plan, $65/month got me unlimited local and long distance calls, text and data.

    2017 I’m paying over $100/month for unlimited calls and text but only 10GB of data. Seems a bit backwards to me.

  • SrKag

    If they want to force ads on our data .. yes unlimited data should be offered..
    It’s my data and i don’t want it wasted on ads!!!

    • K_p0w3r

      You should switch to Verizon. I feel that you would be their Poster-child for a “Good Customer”

  • Ricky Bobby

    On a related note, Virgin Mobile decided to raise their BYOP prices by $15 and Koodo decided to list their current BYOD plans as “limited time offer”

    500 mins + 1gb data on a BYOP plan is now $65 a month LOL

    • NeroxisFDK

      Not sure where you live but that pricing is awful. Right now in BC Koodo BYOD for the same price you listed sits at Unlimited Canada Wide calling and 4GB data. Also doesn’t say anything about a limited time offer.

    • Ricky Bobby

      Toronto. That plan you just listed is now a limited time only offer from Koodo

  • gommer strike

    And watch everyone start up all their torrent clients on their phones if they were given unlimited.

    • PeterC

      Because terabyte micro sd cards are so easy to get, am I right?

    • Heretic

      All phones have hotspots for home usage.

  • Chris

    No, infrastructure is not cheap at all. It’s insanely expensive. Yet Bell made over two billion in profit last year, after all expenses and including the whole year building their fibre infrastructure. They are making more money than they ever have in the history of Bell yet charging their customers more than ever and paying their employees less than ever.

  • jay

    What is unlimited data mean? Can I cancel my home internet!? I have now 6 GB and pay 55$ if unlimited would be 100$ I can live with that because i can cancel my internet at home.

    • robinottawa

      Exactly (but it would need to apply to your whole family who share internet). I wonder if the carrier’s realize how much it is worth to us.

  • Jackie DeSousa

    Wouldn’t it be something, if all Rogers subscribers switched to Bell (not that Bell is any better) but shut down, or punish them until they offered plans similar to what other carriers in the US offer?

  • robinottawa

    Blah blah blah. We’ll all be dead before this happens in Canada. The gang of three is holding us hostage.

  • Scooby

    Maybe its time to start a crown corp like SaskTel & force the big 3 to get competitive

  • Andrw

    “Mobility was acquired by Rogers”.
    I think you meant to write “Mobilicity”.

  • Kurt

    If they bring it, it won’t be reasonably prices for the foreseeable future

  • Rob

    Wait why does it require the inept city council for CRTC to actually represent the people they are supposed to? That means CRTC should be on the chopping block first. p.s. Rogers is pushing for faster infrastructure and actually want unlimited. That is a more recent thing as of the last year. Bell is the one fighting in courts with CRTC decisions. Shut down B’hell. Nobody likes getting Fraud’gered though so shut them down too. It is this duopoly supported by CRTC who currently has members that worked for both Rogers and Bell, that has allowed this in Ontario.

  • KiwiBri

    I knew you’d be talking Australia.. !

  • alphaswift

    Offer unlimited data? No problem…..$500 please.

  • Andy

    I PREFER 3 YEAR CONTRACT WHICH I COULD GET A NEW PHONE EVERY 18 MTHS FOR $0. I used to have $50 plan with unliminted calling and 6g data. Now I have to buy my own phone to keep this same plan.
    Dont make any stu-pid rules any more. Should let some Chinacom or other telecom come to Canada and that’s how to slove the problem

  • JD

    Wtf is council doing Talking about wireless policy? They got a damn subway debacle to deal with.