Vidéotron

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Vidéotron GP
Type Subsidiary
Industry telecommunications
Founded 1964
Headquarters Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Key people

Manon Brouillette (President and COO)

Robert Dépatie (CEO)
Products cable television, cable internet, Cable VoIP Telephony, Wireless communication
Parent Quebecor
Website http://www.videotron.com

Vidéotron GP[1] is a Canadian integrated telecommunications company active in cable television, interactive multimedia development, video on demand, cable telephony, wireless communication and Internet access services. Owned by Quebecor, the company primarily serves Quebec, as well as the francophone communities of New Brunswick and some parts of Eastern Ontario.

History[edit]

Logo from 1965.

Vidéotron was established in 1964, under the name "Télécâble Vidéotron Ltée" as northern Montreal's first cable television network. Their initial subscriber base was 66. André Chagnon served as the company's founding president. From 1966 to 1969, the company acquired and upgraded their network to fill all of Quebec. By 1980, Vidéotron acquired Câblevision Nationale to become the largest teledistributor in Quebec. Vidéotron acquired Télé-Métropole in 1986, the largest private French-language television company in North America. By 1990, Vidéotron launched Vidéoway terminals in Quebec, the first system of interactive television in North America. Five years later, the company entered the Internet era and acquired their own Internet portal, InfiniT.com. CF Cable, which operated primarily on the western end of the Island of Montreal, southern Laval and Northern Ontario, was acquired by Vidéotron in 1997, further expanding their base. The Northern Ontario division, subsequently, was sold to Regional Cablesystems. The company launched digital television in spring of 1999 in Montreal, and in Gatineau and Quebec City in the autumn.[citation needed]

By the start of the 21st century, Rogers Communications struck an accord with the Chagnon family to purchase Vidéotron. However, citing cultural sovereignty concerns, the second-largest shareholder invoked their right to veto the purchase. Quebecor acquired Vidéotron instead, after months of legal proceedings. On May 23, 2001, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved the transfer of broadcasting licenses from Vidéotron to Quebecor; allowing the interactive television service illico to be launched.

Video on demand and high-definition television become available in 2003. Vidéotron launched wireless service in August 2006 and, two years later the company announced the launch of two new internet access services; Ultimate Speed Internet 30 and Ultimate Speed Internet 50 which deliver speeds of 30 Mbit/s and 50 Mbit/s respectively.[citation needed]

Logo used from 2004-2009.

Services[edit]

Vidéotron serves 1,830,400 cable television customers, including over 1,517,600 digital cable subscribers. Vidéotron also has more than 1,408,200 high-speed cable Internet subscribers, the most in Quebec. As of September 2013, the company has activated 478,000 mobile phones as well as providing cable telephone service to nearly 1,281,200 customers.[2] Vidéotron's cable services are available in the greater areas of Montreal, Quebec City, Gatineau, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières and Saguenay. Vidéotron also serves areas in eastern Ontario, such as Rockland and the surrounding municipality of Clarence-Rockland, as well as parts of New Brunswick near the Quebec border. Vidéotron's cable community channels are branded as VOX.

Vidéotron cable services has also previously been available in the United Kingdom, Africa, and the United States. One of its previous subsidiaries, Videotron Telecom, was financed by the Carlyle Group.

Vidéotron also provides telecommunication services to business and governments since the integration of Vidéotron Télécom into Vidéotron Ltée. The services include dark fiber, SONET, ATM, and Ethernet links as well as video circuits used by various Quebec television networks.

Mobile network[edit]

Main article: Vidéotron Mobile

In July 2008, Videotron ltée and Quebecor officially acquired spectrum licenses for advanced wireless services from Industry Canada auction at a total cost of $554,559,000. The licenses cover Quebec for an average of 40 MHz spectrum, Toronto with 10 MHz and south-east Ontario. The network was officially launched on September 9 of 2010.[citation needed] Infrastructure work for a pre-4G HSPA+ wireless network was done over the span of three years, Videotron now having its own cellular communications resources.

Vidéotron was the only provider in Canada that sold the short-lived Garmin Nuvifone A50 smartphone.[citation needed]

Technical support[edit]

The major centers are located in Montreal, Longueuil, Quebec City, Gatineau, Joliette, Saguenay and St-Hubert. Vidéotron also has outsourced customer service centers that include Utopia, Gexel Telecom and Atelka. In 2007, Videotron made a partnership with Xceed Contact Center to outsource some of the call centers to Egypt.[citation needed]

Controversy[edit]

Project Cleanfeed Canada[edit]

In November 2006, Vidéotron and other Canadian ISPs partnered with Cybertip.ca, a nationwide tipline for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children, to create Project Cleanfeed Canada, an initiative designed to block access to hundreds of child pornography sites. Vidéotron launched the Vigilance on the Net campaign in 2007. The campaign visited several Quebec high schools in the Fall of 2007 to deliver security messages directly to teens and their parents.

Extreme High-Speed Internet[edit]

On August 14, 2007, Videotron announced starting October 1 they will impose a 100 GiB per month download/upload limit with a penalty of $1.50 per extra GiB to their previously unrestricted High-Speed Extreme Internet service, even to existing signed subscribers.[3] This decision created outrage among its Internet users, and has led to a class action suit against Videotron by consumer advocacy group Union des Consommateurs. In September 2013, the court has authorized this suit to proceed.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]