Posted November 17, 2018 07:17:17A cable-TV company’s broadband service can be as expensive as a satellite TV service, and it’s usually a cable-only service, even if it’s bundled with a satellite, according to a report.
The Globe and Press and Mail has learned that the Canadian Cable Association says there’s “no meaningful difference” between the two.
The association, however, has told the Globe that it’s “a matter of semantics” for cable operators to say their service is “free.”
“Cable is a very different service from satellite,” the CCA says on its website.
“The cable model, like satellite, is based on delivering the most economical package, with the minimum of investment required.”
It’s unclear what percentage of Canadian households subscribe to cable, but the average household has about 25 per cent of its monthly bill coming from cable, according the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB).
“For example, the average Canadian household pays more for a cable package than for a satellite service,” the report states.
“A cable company that operates a satellite-only model has to charge much more than a cable company with an internet-only plan.
The difference is very small.
Cable and satellite are a very similar service.
It’s a matter of semantic semantics.”
The Globe notes that while satellite service is more expensive, it’s often a bundled service with cable-based service, including a monthly bill that’s similar.
“Most cable companies offer a bundle that includes a satellite or cable service, or the satellite service and the cable service together, for a much lower monthly fee,” the Globe writes.
The report comes on the heels of CAB telling the country’s biggest telcos to stop charging consumers for their cable-access.
In a statement, Rogers Communications said it is “reviewing the report to determine what further steps are needed to protect our customers from increased costs.”
“We have a policy of no additional charges for our cable services, which includes the cost of the service itself, including the cost for an add-on cable service,” Rogers said.
“The only additional fees for our basic cable service are those charged by our cable provider, which include the cost to deliver that cable service to your home and the cost that we incur for maintaining our infrastructure and equipment.”
The CCA’s CEO, Mike Hulme, told the Canadian Press the CAB report is “a bit of a red herring” to explain why consumers should opt for a bundled bundle over a satellite.
“There’s no such thing as free,” he said.
“There are different prices and different bundles, and you can choose the best deal for you.”
The organization also says there is a significant distinction between a satellite and cable TV service.
“It’s important to note that in Canada, there are no broadband internet services available from any Canadian cable company,” it states.
“However, there is cable service that is offered from many of the cable operators in Canada.”
It goes on to note the CNA has a “comprehensive network of consumer advocacy and education campaigns” aimed at preventing the “dismantling of basic cable services” and to encourage customers to consider satellite services over a cable.
The CNA is a non-profit organization that has long been involved in the fight for cable TV in Canada.
In 2016, it won a landmark Supreme Court ruling that struck down the countrys anti-consumer regulations and allowed the sale of broadband internet and TV services.
In the meantime, the organization has worked with the CRTC to allow consumers to use their own internet accounts to watch Canadian channels.
Hulme told the CPA that the organization was pleased to hear that cable operators are working to improve their service offerings, but that they’re also working to “reduce the barriers to entry for the consumer” by offering lower monthly fees.