Netflix CEO: “I Don’t Quite Understand” Why Canada Has Very Low Internet Caps

In a recent video interview with The Globe and Mail, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings spoke about Canada’s capped internet plans compared to the rest of the world. We transcribed one of the most interesting questions posed to Hastings about Netflix doing business in Canada:

The Globe and Mail’s Omar El Akkad:

How difficult is it to launch a streaming internet-based service, in a country where the majority of internet users face pretty significant caps to their internet usage limits?

Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings:

Well Canada has the misfortunate of being the country with the lowest internet caps maybe in the world but certainly in the developed world and in all of the Netflix world. In Mexico, internet is largely uncapped; in the US it’s largely uncapped; in the UK it’s completely uncapped; in Canada there’s a number of providers with very low caps…I don’t quite understand it.

For whatever reasoning in Canada there’s very low caps on internet usage and it’s a real problem for people in terms of using internet; it’s not based on cost–cuz those same costs are in all the other nations…just a simple example…the biggest plans from Rogers, Videotron are like 100-200GB…the smallest plan you can get with Comcast in the USA is 300GB. Okay, and most are just uncapped. So the way of the future is just uncapped internet and hopefully the local ISPs here in Canada will adjust to that.

We’ve previously covered Canada’s dismal track record when it comes to bandwidth costs compared to the rest of the world and internet speeds. Former research by Google’s MLab noted Rogers throttles internet more than any other company on the planet.

In response to our low bandwidth caps, Netflix introduced video quality settings in March of last year to help Canadians preserve internet bandwidth. I don’t quite understand why we have such low internet caps either, as Hastings stated. Like he said–how are the costs of internet by ISPs in Canada different than those from providers around the world? What do you think about the internet caps we face in Canada?

Netflix is available in Canada for $7.99/month and works on the Apple TV, iOS devices, computers and gaming consoles.

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