Rogers High Speed 50Mbps Cable Internet Connections are FAST, But Misleading

Here in Toronto, Rogers is the dominant provider of high speed Internet, cable and digital cable services.  Rogers delivers a wide variety of residential Internet connections speeds.

I’m going to briefly go over a few of their packages and try to explain to the average person what exactly it is that they’re getting when they subscribe to a Rogers Lite 3Mbps, Rogers Express 10Mbps, Rogers Extreme 15Mbps, Rogers Extreme Plus 25Mbps and Rogers Ultimate 50Mbps.

Lets start with their fastest plan first, the Rogers Ultimate 50Mbps high speed Internet.

50Mbps is fast!  Really fast, but keep in mind that the plan offers “up to” 50Mbps so you’re certainly not guaranteed that speed.  I would guess you’ll receive somewhere between 5Mbps and 50Mbps at any given time.  That’s because in order to truly receive such high speeds, the website or file that you’re downloading on the other end of the Internet connection must also have enough speed to make it fast.  So for example if the website is on a 10Mbps and you’re using a 50Mbps connection, you cannot receive anything faster than the 10Mbps the website is supporing.  This is of course true for any Rogers high speed Internet plan you choose.

Ok, that said, here’s what you’re really getting with the 50Mbps.  You receive 175GB of monthly data transfer, after which you begin to pay on a per GB basis.  Here is a calculation so you can see what that really means.

On the Rogers website it claims that 175GB lets you “Download 88 HD Movies”, “537 hours of YouTube HD”, or “35840 songs”.  Lets analyse this claim.

1. Download 88 HD Movies: Well, sure, if they’re 45-60 minutes each.  Most HD movies are about 4GB so it would actually be closer to 43 HD movies per month.

2. 537 hours of YouTube HD: It’s difficult to truly estimate how much bandwidth HD YouTube videos use, but I could see 537 hours being about right

3. 3580 songs: Yup, they’re right on this one

Here’s what needs to be explained about the Rogers Ultimate 50Mbps high speed Internet though.  You’re subscribing to a 50Mbps service.  Here’s a calculation that shows how much transfer you can do on a 50Mbps Internet connection over a month: 50 (Mb per second) = 15.6744947 TB per month.  That’s equal to over 16,050 gigabytes.  WAIT A MINUTE.  Why does the Rogers Ultimate 50Mbps high speed Internet connection come with only 175GB of bandwidth per month when a 50Mbps connection can actually do over 16,000GB per month, or over 91 times as much?  Well, because they’re overselling by a HUGE margin.  A margin of 91:1 actually.  Except that 95% of customers won’t fully utilize their monthly allotment, so its more like overselling by 1820:1.

If you were to look at this in reverse and ignore the 50Mbps speed for now, you’re subscribing to a 175GB/month service.  Here’s the calculation: 175 (GB per month) = 0.545148156 Mb per second.  Yikes, that doesn’t sound nearly as good does it?  If you were to sustain 0.54Mbps for an entire month you’d already use up your 175GB allotment and have to start paying more after.

Now, imagine if you use your Rogers Ultimate 50Mbps high speed Internet connection at 50Mbps sustained for a month and downloaded over 16,000GB of data on your 175GB plan.  You will have to pay extra for the 15,825GB that you went over your bandwidth cap.  Most providers charge about $1 per GB for overage, but lets say Rogers were to charge just a penny ($0.01), which is NOT the case – it’s much more.  You would be stuck paying an extra $158.25 because you fully utilized the 50Mbps connection you’re subscribed to.  Something is certainly not right here.

What about Rogers Extreme Plus 25Mbps high speed Internet?  Here’s the same calculations: 25 (Mb per second) = 8,025 GB per month.  The plan is 125GB per month, so in speed that would be: 125 (GB per month) = 0.39 Mb per second if sustained over a month.

And for Rogers Extreme 15Mbps high speed Internet, the same calculations: 15 (Mb per second) = 4,815 GB per month.  In speed, the provided 80GB per month: 80 (GB per month) = 0.25 Mb per second if sustained over a month.

Rogers Express 10Mbps high speed Internet: 10 (Mb per second) = 3,210 GB per month.  You get 60GB monthly so in speed: 60 (GB per month) = 0.19 Mb per second sustained over a month

And again with the Rogers Lite high speed Internet: 3 (Mb per second) = 963 GB per month.  You get 15GB per month so if we again reverse this for speed: 15 (GB per month) = 0.047 megabits per second if sustained for a month.  That’s slower than dialup.

So what does this tell us?  Well, Rogers is way overselling the high speed Internet plans they offer because the monthly bandwidth allotments they’re providing are waaaaay under the amount of monthly transfer that can be done on their high speed Internet connections.  Just to be clear, Rogers is certainly not the only provider doing this.  They all do it.  So what’s the point of this article then?  Just to inform those consumers that don’t fully understand what it is they’re buying.

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