|Formerly||Télécâble Vidéotron Limitée|
|Headquarters||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Jean-François Pruneau (President and CEO)|
|Products||Cable television, Cable internet, Cable VoIP Telephony, Wireless communication|
Vidéotron 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, it primarily serves Quebec, as well as the Francophone communities of New Brunswick and some parts of Eastern Ontario. Its principal competitors are Bell Canada and Telus Communications.
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 expanded and upgraded their network to cover all of Quebec.
In 1969, the company offered the first pay-per-view service under the name Sélecto-TV.
In 1974, a bi-directional network was created in Saint-Jérôme, one of the first in the world at the time.
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.
From 1995, the company entered the Internet era and acquired their own Internet portal, InfiniT.com.
In 1997, CF Cable TV, which operated primarily on the western end of the Island of Montreal, southern Laval and Northern Ontario, was acquired by Vidéotron, further expanding their base. The Northern Ontario division, subsequently, was sold to Regional Cablesystems.
On March 29, 1999, the company launched digital television in Montreal.
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.
Video on demand and high-definition television became 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.
In the spring of 2010, Vidéotron launched IllicoWeb, an online television and video-on-demand service. In September, it launched a 3G+ wireless service, with plans to offer a quadruple play service with its existing cable services.
On December 30, 2017, assets from Vidéotron G.P. were transferred to Vidéotron Ltée, as the company underwent a corporate reorganization.
In September 2018, Vidéotron began beta testing for Fizz, a discount brand on its network.
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. 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 MAtv.
Vidéotron cable services had also previously been available in the United Kingdom (acquired and merged into Cable & Wireless plc along with Bell Cablemedia and NYNEX Corporation in 1997), Africa, and the United States. One of its previous subsidiaries, Videotron Telecom (not to be confused with Videotron Mobile), 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.
Vidéotron operates various type of television services. This include analogue cable TV, Illico TV, a digital cable television provider, Club Illico, a over-the-top subscription video on demand service and Helix TV, an Internet protocol television provider. The latter service requires Helix Internet.
The core Illico and Helix TV package is Basic (La Base), which includes 23 basic channels and is comparable to competitors' Starter packages. Basic includes MAtv, a brand of community channels that is exclusive to Vidéotron. Other current packages (Light/Le Léger, Discovery/La Découverte, Sports Discovery/La Découverte Sports, Discovery Plus/La Découverte Plus, Show Time/Fan De Films, Sports Fan/Fan De Sports, All-In/La Totale and Absolute/Plein La Vue) include all channels from Basic, plus 5 to 32 à la carte TV channels.
Cable telephone service
On July 29, 2004, Vidéotron announced plans to launch a telephone service using VoIP technology by the first half of 2005. Vidéotron launched its cable phone service in late 2004 to compete with Bell Canada and Telus. Initial deployment of this service started on Montreal's South Shore. During a press release on January 24, 2005, Vidéotron announced that 300,000 customers on Montreal's South Shore had access to this service and that deployment would continue all over Quebec throughout 2005. Vidéotron also announced that about 2,500 customers had already subscribed to this service, following a trial conducted in the fall of 2004.
Vidéotron was also the first cable provider in Canada to launch cable phone service.
In July 2008, Videotron ltée and Quebecor officially acquired spectrum licenses for advanced wireless services from an 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, 2010. 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.
In 2013, Rogers and Vidéotron struck a 20-year deal, enabling Vidéotron to share its network with Rogers Wireless. This network sharing agreement enabled Vidéotron to deploy LTE on its network in Quebec in 2014, in partnership with Rogers. The agreement also enabled Vidéotron customers to use the Rogers Wireless network as a Vidéotron partner network in order to allow texts to be sent or received, calls to be made and for data to be used across Canada. In 2016, Vidéotron revamped its plans, allowing customers to make unlimited calls, send and receive texts and use data in the United States as well, due to partnerships with US carriers.
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.
High-Speed Extreme Internet
On August 14, 2007, Videotron announced starting October 1 they will impose a 100-gigabyte-per-month download/upload limit with a penalty of $1.50 per extra gigabyte to their previously unrestricted High-Speed Extreme Internet service, even to existing subscribers. 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.
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- "Vidéotron lance son service numérique" [Videotron launches its digital service] (PDF). BAnQ. La Presse. March 30, 1999. p. B4.
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