updated 01:25 pm EDT, Wed July 20, 2011
Rogers gives cap boost for DOCSIS 3 users
Rogers responded to increasing criticism of its cap policies by increasing caps on its Internet plans. Those with a DOCSIS 3 cable modem will see their caps go back up for all but the simplest Express tier. Extreme users will go from 80GB to 100GB, Extreme Plus from 125GB to 150GB, and Ultimate from 175GB to 250GB.
The two Extreme tiers are also getting a speed boost, from 15Mbps to 24Mbps on Extreme and from 25Mbps to 32Mbps on Extreme Plus.
Along with the extra transfer performance, the ISP is countering Bell by offering its own "data assurance" tiers. An extra 20GB per month costs an extra $5; more aggressive users can pay $20 per month for 80GB more.
Although Rogers has spun the increases as a reflection of "changing needs," the increases are believed to be attempts to head off increasing criticism. Rogers drew flak last year for lowering its caps for new customers, and raising overage fee ceilings, despite a lack of evidence that users were consuming less or that the number of users on the network was an increasing problem. Netflix lowered its default bitrate in the country after concerns that shrinking caps and the threat of government-enforced usage-based billing were being used to discourage Internet video viewing.
Rogers doesn't compete in the same regions as other cable providers but may also be reacting to Shaw Cable's cap increases. The more West-focused provider dramatically increased its caps to where even a regular user can expect 400GB of data per month. Its Ontario rival didn't explain why it felt it could only afford the smaller boost.