VMedia is very pleased to announce that as of May 1, 2015, we expect to be offering cable internet services under a third party internet access (TPIA) agreement with a major Canadian cable company (the TPIA Provider). This has been anticipated for some time now, and will enable us to provide better levels of service to our customers, as well as introduce two new cable plans, 15Mbps and 100Mbps.
As many are aware VMedia has been offering high-speed cable internet service in many parts of Ontario (including most of the Greater Toronto Area) that is sourced by VMedia from another independent internet service provider, whose involvement VMedia greatly appreciates, rather than directly from the TPIA Provider. This temporary arrangement arose from delays in finalizing a TPIA agreement allowing us to acquire wholesale cable internet bandwidth directly from the TPIA Provider.
When VMedia launched on that basis in April, 2013, we did not expect the finalization of the TPIA agreement to take so long, nor did we expect that there would be such a strong demand for our services. As it has turned out, this led to some service shortcomings, including (i) internet capacity issues from time to time, especially during peak periods, as well as (ii) installation and technical troubleshooting processes, which have been very complex due to the inability to communicate service issues directly to the TPIA Provider. These issues have affected everyone from time to time, in particular our television customers, and for this we are very sorry.
However, based on our experience with other wholesale providers with which we have direct agreements, we expect these issues to be greatly minimized, if not eliminated completely, once the TPIA agreement becomes effective. This will certainly be the case with new customers who sign up beginning May 1, as well as with existing cable internet customers who may choose to be transferred onto the new service platform over the next few months.
The purpose of this blog post is to provide you with this important news, and to describe our plan for dealing with existing affected cable internet subscribers (the Current Subscribers), and in particular their options if they would like to switch to services which we provide under direct agreements.
The Current Subscribers fall into two categories, those with the currently available plans (30 and 60 Mbps unlimited packages), and those who are on so-called grandfathered plans, with speeds no longer available in the market(18, 25, 28 and 45 Mbps unlimited packages).
Customers with Currently Available Plans
Customers with the currently available plans will over the next few months be transferred, if they wish, onto the new service platform. This will enable us to deal with any issues relating to their plans directly with the TPIA Provider, and generally respond much more effectively to any issues and needs they may have. We will be transferring those customers in batches which can be accommodated by the TPIA Provider over the next few months. Other than a transfer fee, there will be no other customer-side involvement, and in particular, no need for new hardware.
Customers with Grandfathered Plans
Customers with the grandfathered plans cannot be transferred in this way, as the TPIA agreement does not contemplate customers on those plans moving to the new service platform. We wish it were otherwise, but it is not possible.
This means that grandfathered plan customers will have to change their plans to a current one, and possibly require a new modem.
This leaves those customers with the choice of (i) staying with VMedia on the current basis, where VMedia will have to deal with their issues and needs through the intermediary ISP, or (ii) switching to plans with similar speeds, which in some cases would be more costly.
In many cases, this may also require a modem upgrade. This can be determined by going to our website and checking the list of approved modems for the currently available plans.
For those who would consider switching plans, VMedia has provided another very attractive option available for a limited time, which we are communicating to eligible subscribers today.
The FTTN Option
VMedia has determined that approximately half of our customers with grandfathered plans have access to fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) service, which VMedia currently offers to the market. Since those customers are facing the possibility of choosing new plans, at this juncture we have launched, today, a promotion that enables those customers to switch to FTTN from cable internet without having to pay an installation fee, or a dry loop fee, and if the customer has a Motorola SB6141, VMedia will swap it for a VDSL modem at no additional charge.
Emails to eligible customers with this VMedia Fibre offer will be sent in batches, to ensure we have adequate hardware in stock to accommodate demand. The first batch of emails is being sent out today, April 15.
An Important Transition
We at VMedia look forward to taking this important step forward, providing this key service based on a direct relationship with the TPIA Provider. VMedia, and our customers, have from time to time been greatly inconvenienced by the current circumstances, and we are very grateful for our customers’ patience and understanding, and especially their support, throughout this period.
However, at this juncture, it seems we will be past all of that as of May 1, and we will work diligently to transition our existing, affected customers who choose to switch in the most convenient way possible, in cooperation with our intermediary ISP and the TPIA Provider.
We will keep the affected customers up to date on the progress of the transition, and look forward to answering any questions you may have on our new thread on the subject in the VMedia Forum.
Thank you all, again, very much.