Rogers says new internet speeds are indeed new

20 Nov

Jose Reyes is undoubtedly the new shortstop for the Rogers’ owned Blue Jays.
But are Rogers’ new internet services really new?

In the latest internet access stoush before the CRTC, Rogers has fired back against independent internet service provider customers looking to get at its faster speeds. The small companies recently registered a complaint with the regulator, saying the cable provider has introduced new, faster speeds for its own customers at no extra cost. According to wholesale speed-matching rules, they say Rogers is thus required to do the same for the indie ISPs who use parts of its network to provide their own services.

As I wrote last week, the Canadian Network Operators Consortium – a group of small ISPs – say that Rogers’ new speed boosts are not really new, they’re just the same products with faster speeds. The cable company’s short-answer reply via the CRTC is: just because they have the same names as the old products doesn’t mean they aren’t new.

The longer answer has to do with mind-numbing details as to whether the services are counted as aggregated or disaggregated, which are different ways of setting up network infrastructures and counting traffic. Small ISPs say it’s considerably more expensive to use the aggregated approach and as such are also fighting the pricing model before the CRTC.

In a simpler nutshell, Rogers says its new 35, 45 and 150 megabit-per-second services are “undeniably new” because its network has been configured differently and customers need new equipment to access them.

“These services require DOCSIS 3.0 modems and provide very consistent throughput as DOCSIS 3.0 technology combines multiple channels making available the combined bandwidth of the channels,” the company said in its filing with the CRTC (links to PDF).

Only a third of Rogers’ customers have these modems and they will be upgraded to the new speeds over the next five weeks. The remaining two-thirds are on older DOCSIS 2.0 modems and, in order to get faster speeds, they will have to consciously switch.

Delving a little deeper, Rogers says the CRTC only requires it to provide disaggregated access to the small ISPs for another year, which is why it isn’t offering the higher speeds through that particular set-up.

“One year of the transition period has now ended. Rogers submits that it would make no sense to vary the regulatory policy … and force carriers to take the steps necessary to implement additional speeds on a disaggregated basis,” its letter says.

Additionally, rather than slowly transitioning toward the new aggregated set-up, which will be the only model available to smaller ISPs a year from now, “the number of end-users on Rogers’ disaggregated… service has increased every month.” In other words, indie service providers who use its network are making no effort to move onto the new system.

CNOC is allowed to counter this response by the end of this week. With the fate of faster-speed services from smaller ISPs at stake, it’s something worth staying tuned to.


Posted by on November 20, 2012 in crtc, internet, rogers


3 responses to “Rogers says new internet speeds are indeed new

  1. BT

    November 20, 2012 at 10:12 am

    I’m having a little trouble with the 2/3 have Docsis 2.0 modems bit, especially since Rogers has been denying speed upgrades for awhile for anyone still using them.

    Express is still 12Mbps for Rogers customers using Doc2, Extreme is still 15Mbps (or maybe 10Mbps – I can’t remember), putting those people now two speed upgrades behind for Express and 3 (or 4) for Extreme. Extreme Plus and Ultimate were never offered using Docsis 2.0.

    So not a single person on Extreme Plus needs new hardware.

    And, oh yeah, 25Mbps will work on Docsis 2.0. More prone to congestion and with less “speedboost”, but it will work.

    As for dis-aggregated, well…. “We only have to support it for another year, so we figured why keep supporting it now?” As for more users showing up on dis-aggregated, that’s perfectly fine. The point of the 2 year period was to allow transition PLANNING, and for the small ISPs to get at least some return on investment from the money they sunk into getting activated on dis-aggregate before Rogers supported aggregate.

  2. Richard Bogart

    November 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    DOCSIS 3.0 is fully backwards compatible to 2.0 and even 1.0 modems. I know, because I’m using a SB4100 Motorola right now on a 3.0 Comcast network (yes, we’ve been buying our own modems for years in the US and saving big time monthly rental fees).

    The network really has not changed, just the stuff at the cable company’s “head end” and in an upgraded customer’s home if he or she has a new modem. Tweaking stuff, or what Rogers calls “configured differently” does not make a new network.

    In fact, even decade-old 1.0 modems should benefit with increased stability and work just fine, although slower. With Rogers’ infamous speed clamping controls, it does not make much difference, anyway.

    Plus, when one considers the arguably draconian overage charges and download limits, what’s the point in having a Corvette if your gas runs out half-way down the track?

    How do I know all this? Former cable marketing guy for 15 years…

  3. Teresa

    November 20, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Big shock on Rogers sidestepping the truth – they do it well. I can’t say they’re lying, as they just neglect to give the full truth, and aren’t ‘technically’ lying. However the bullshit meter *does* go off pretty hard.

    I made a submission to this process, attempting to show the side-stepping and the bullshit.

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