Yes, Telus has been charging a 1.5% fee whenever their customers use a credit card since mid-October and now Bell Canada, Cogeco, Eastlink and Sasktel applied to start upping their rates every year “based on the annual consumer price index for the period ending December 31 of the preceding calendar year”, which means everyone will likely be paying way more for something that gets less and less appealing every year.

I currently stream most of the television programs I watch on a Roku television or watch over the air broadcast using a digital antenna and LTE/5G filter so I question the logic of hiking basic cable when most people are cutting the cord and starting to watch the Canadian networks online.

Some of them still charge fees for some of their programming but when it comes to news and weather, these are available free from CBC, Radio Canada, Global, CTV and The Weather Network via their apps, which are available for mobile devices and on smart televisions. And I suspect they will eventually offer advertisement sponsored streaming and time shifting, like CBC and Radio Canada have.

When it comes to comedy and drama that also airs on television, I now find myself watching them on Youtube, Prime Video and Disney+, basically viewing cable as a bonus in a discounted package with cell service, where I occasionally record programs that are unavailable online.

I also binge watch series on Netflix and Prime Video, the latter making Global and multiple other networks available for relatively affordable rates, so I believe these hikes are not conducive to the retaining of subscribers.

Bell just recently upgraded their fibre network, allowing some to download and upload at speeds up to 3 GBPS. And these occurred in multiple cities where over the air broadcasts are strong and readily available to most residents of these cities, so what could stop an independent provider from offering basic cable packages at less than $20.

I suspect most subscribers would be happy paying less for 1080p broadcasts, which is what one finds over the air, and prefer tuning into 4k primarily for films and sports. And Netflix is also still loosing subscribers so I think this hike is not fully thought out.

Is Bell trying to nudge people towards Crave, a streaming service that has just recently dropped prices to attract more subscribers? Who knows. But you have until October 28th, 2022 to comment on the proposal to hike basic cables rates from $25 to $28 “with subsequent yearly adjustments based on inflation“.

Sennheiser (Canada) Inc.