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News | 12/08/2006 5:00 am EST

Rogers Communications mulling national VoIP service
The long-time chief executive of Rogers Communications noted during two recent investors conferences in New York that the media and communications giant is contemplating a national rollout of VoIP services. Ted Rogers made the comments at the Credit Suisse Media and Telecom conference and the UBS Securities Global Media and Communications conference earlier this week. "We are committed to being a national supplier from coast to coast. And we have technologies that we are developing now, the same as Sprint is and Clearwire [is] that will deliver high-speed Internet and telephony pretty well coast to coast," he said during the UBS event. Rogers refers to broadband wireless technology being deployed by Inukshuk Internet Inc., a joint venture between Rogers and Bell Canada. Inukshuk owns the rights to spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band in all regions of the country except for Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Rogers has also copied a page out of the Bell Canada playbook and has decided to implement usage-based billing for a new grade of high-speed Internet services. Bill Linton, CFO of Rogers, said during the UBS event that the company would be soon introducing a 18 Mbps Internet service and that it would soon begin charging higher-usage customers by the amount of bandwidth they use. Linton didn’t go into specifics about pricing, but he did say that subscribers to high-speed services above 18 Mbps would be billed on usage.
"We would like to get to some metered billing basis sometime down the road," he said. "Will we get a backlash from customers? I don’t believe so, because it’s pretty easy to figure out that there are a few people who use an inordinate amount of Internet bandwidth and it’s only reasonable that they should pay for it as opposed to everybody having to pay for it."

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