Internet packages prove puzzling to Canadians

by | Feb 14, 2014 | Biz/Tech

Marlon Gomez
Biz/Tech Reporter

A recent survey revealed most Canadians have difficulty understanding their monthly internet plans.

The study, conducted last fall showed 32 per cent of Canadians didn’t know how much bandwidth they needed for their monthly usage.

The survey of 1,500 Canadians over the age of 18 revealed only 24 per cent made an effort to keep track of their monthly bandwidth usage.

International Data Corporation and TekSavvy Solutions took the initiative to conduct this survey.

“We just wanted to find out in actuality how much Canadians actually know and how they felt about their Internet plans,” said Tina Furlan the director of marketing and media relations at TekSavvy.

The results show 32 per cent of men kept track of their monthly internet usage, comapred to 17 per cent of women.

“These survey results highlight that many Canadians don’t have a clear understanding of their internet plans, or which plan is right for them,” said Pierre Aube, COO of TekSavvy in a newswire media release.

Despite having issues understanding internet plans, Canadians use the web eagerly.  The 2013 CIRA World Factbook found Canadians spend more time on the internet than anyone else in the world. On average Canadians spend 45 hours a month browsing the web, according to CIRA’s website.

The survey revealed pricing was a concern for participants, with 60 per cent stating price as their main reason for switching providers.

Part of the confusion occurs when trying to match personal monthly usage with internet packages.

Among the main factors that should be considered are  speed, capacity, privacy and overage rates, said Ryan Burton, director for I.T. Planning and Client services at Humber College.

“The difficulty is capturing all this information from the various service providers and being able to compare apples to apples, and make that informed decision. Like anything else it requires work,” said Burton.

Providers typically display Mbps (megabits per second) for downloading and uploading, and the amount of usage allowed (e.g., 100 GB.)

Rogers offers six separate internet packages starting at $44.99/month for 20 GB and up to 6 Mbps for downloading and up to 256 kbps (kilobits per second) for uploading. The highest package is priced at $225.99/month for 2 TB (terabytes) and up to 350 Mbps for downloading and uploading.

Bell on the other hand offers five separate Internet packages starting at $34.95/month for 20 GB and up to 5 Mbps for downloading and up to 1 Mbps for uploading. The most expensive package costs $152.95/month and comes with 300 GB and up to 175 Mbps for downloading and uploading.

“What a lot of people should do and probably don’t, is create a matrix of how each provider performs in all those areas and see which of the elements ranks higher among providers,” said Burton.

To figure out data usage in the home, TekSavvy created a ‘find your plan’ form, available on their website.

"TekSavvy Infographic (CNW Group/TekSavvy Solutions Inc.)" COURTESY CNW Group/TekSavvy

“TekSavvy Infographic (CNW Group/TekSavvy Solutions Inc.)” COURTESY CNW Group/TekSavvy