Canadians’ interest in the Sochi Olympics is good for telcos, but it may hurt customers’ pockets, the Calgary Herald reports. According to CBC’s data (you can download the CBC Olympics app by following this link), 4.1 million Canadians are watching the games on their website, which is good for the media broadcaster, but the problem begins when the bill arrives in your inbox, a lawyer for the Public Interest Advocacy Centre highlighted.
Since the games have begun, there has been a spike in data usage, multiple telcos report. For example, Shaw Communications said that it has noticed a rise in data usage during key Olympic competitions at the 30,000 Wi-Fi hotspots it has in Canada. This, however, allows users to stream data on their mobile devices at no cost.
“We’re giving them a lot of content so that naturally increases usage which is good for Telus and for our customers,” Chris Gerritsen said.
“We don’t anticipate this to affect the vast majority of customers’ bills as about 90 per cent of our customers do not go over their monthly usage allowance,” Jennifer Kett said in a statement.
But those who are watching the Olympics at home may need to face the harsh reality that one hour of HD content can eat up to 1.1 GB of their monthly data plan. And this is where the games can hurt: Although some carriers do warn users as they exceed their monthly plan’s limits, an hour of a key game can cost an additional $10. Data charges may differ by carrier, but the main idea is, exceeding the monthly limit can get really expensive.
And just a side note: While Canada may have the top wireless streaming services, it still costs at least double the price that Internet service providers charge OECD countries, according to a 2013 report.