Squelching complaints of restrictive bandwidth caps, Canadian cable provider Shaw has begun rolling out drastically higher speeds and transfer limits. The company has increased bandwidth caps by 100% or more on existing plans, along with introducing new ultra-speed unlimited packages (PDF).
The cap on Shaw's "Lite Speed" 1Mb/s service has been boosted from 15GB to 30GB, its "High Speed" 7.5MB/s connection has jumped from 60GB to 125GB, and the company's "Extreme" 25Mb/s has shifted from 100GB to 250GB. All services will keep the same bundle and standalone pricing.
Starting sometime in June, Shaw will launch five new packages: 1Mb/s, 50Mb/s, and three 100Mb/s. The new 1Mb/s line and one of the 100Mb/s services will offer unlimited bandwidth, while the 50Mb/s plan is limited to 400GB and the other two 100Mb/s connections offer 500GB and 750GB caps.
Shaw's lineup will be further augmented in August when the company introduces two 250Mb/s services -- one capped at 1TB and the other offering unlimited bandwidth. Interestingly, all of the new tiers will require you to purchase a bundle package that includes the company's cable TV service.
In other words, you won't be able to pay for a standalone Internet service. This will undoubtedly annoy some users who demand higher transfer limits because they've ditched conventional cable TV for web-based video services such as Netflix, the largest source of Internet traffic in North America.
Nonetheless, the changes show that Shaw is at least listening to its customers. "We have spent the last several months listening to many points of view from the lobbyists, the industry and most importantly our customers. We hope you agree that where we have landed is fair [and] flexible," Shaw said.