Two weeks ago, I posted a chart comparing internet plans from Canadian cable companies to new ones unveiled by U.S. provider Charter Communications. That post turned out to be pretty popular and I did promise a fuller comparison with more participants. In that vein, I looked at four major U.S. cable companies and all five major Canadian counterparts to produce the new chart below.
The U.S. providers included were Comcast, Cox, Charter and Time Warner, while in Canada I compared Rogers, Shaw, Videotron, Cogeco and Eastlink. As with the previous chart, I looked at plans with download speeds of 30 megabits per second and 100 Mbps, or the closest speeds offered by each provider, and compared prices and data caps. Canadian providers are in red. Notes follow the chart:
Notes: In the lower tier, Charter, Time Warner, Videotron, Cogeco and Comcast offer 30 Mbps, while Shaw offers (20), Cox (31), Rogers (32), Eastlink (40). In the higher tier, Shaw and Charter are the only two offering 100 Mbps, while Time Warner’s fastest speed is (50), Cox and Cogeco (55), Rogers (75), Eastlink (80), Videotron (120), Comcast (105). Time Warner also apparently doesn’t have usage caps, but I used a figure of 500 gigabytes simply for chart formatting purposes. Comparisons were made across services offered in major cities; prices and speeds may vary in other markets that weren’t looked at.
A quick glance at the chart suggests two things: on the lower 30 Mbps speeds, Canadian cable companies are expensive relative to their U.S. counterparts. In terms of monthly usage, the Canadian providers are comparatively woeful. Only Shaw, in the higher 100 Mbps measure, stacks up favourably.
Price-wise on that faster speed, Canadian cable companies also don’t compare well. Only Comcast’s high prices save them from looking outright terrible. Once again, though, Shaw is the outlier with relatively good prices.
So how can this chart be interpreted? Well, it clearly shows that Canadian cable customers are generally getting less for more than their American counterparts. But, just as with the previous chart, the deeper meaning is gleaned when the cable companies’ competitors are factored in.
Four of the five Canadian providers all compete against the same phone company: Bell. The only one that has good prices and usage – Shaw – is the one that doesn’t. Coincidence?