Fido launches home internet service in Ontario

Existing Fido users would have to pay $50/month for 300GB

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Fido today extended its millennial-oriented reinvention, adding home internet to the Rogers Communications-owned brand’s recently-relaunched mobile wireless plans.

With just two different plans, all-in pricing including modem rental, no term contracts and no activation or cancellation fees, Fido’s new offering is in keeping with its new no fuss, no muss identity. The service will be available in parts of Ontario with existing Rogers cable service, and is cheaper for existing Fido wireless customers.

Current customers would have to pay $50 a month for 300GB of internet usage, whereas unlimited access would cost $65 a month. New Fido users will have to pay $70 or $85 for the two options.

While smartphones are a key component of the Generation Y stereotype, 70% of Canadian millennials access the Internet on both desktop and mobile according to analytics outfit comScore. Throw in mobile usage on WiFi to preserve wireless data caps, and most young people still have plenty of use for a more traditional Internet connection.

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“Fido is focused on independent millennials, and Rogers is focused on families,” explains Raj Doshi, Executive Vice-President for Wireless at Rogers Communications (which owns Canadian Business and MoneySense). “So the solutions are very much focused around those kinds of things. If you look at some of the content offerings we’ve put on Fido—Daily VICE and Spotify music streaming—[they’re] very much what this segment is focused on.”

The new system also takes advantage of the younger demographic’s ease with technology. Instead of the traditional home Internet installation model—setting up an appointment, then waiting for a technician to hook things up—Fido will mail the modem to customers, who can set it up using a smartphone or laptop. “They’re not intimidated, it’s what they expect,” notes Doshi.

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Having customers set up their own connections will cut down on service calls, but the savings on the installation ended up balancing out the cost of setting up the new system. It took a “lot of time and money to get a modem and capability to build the applications and activations through mobile devices,” says Doshi. “To make things simple is actually very complicated.”

Fido’s move fills a gap in the Rogers connectivity portfolio, with the parent brand’s home internet offerings more suited to multi-person family consumption patterns. It allows the company to compete with ISPs like upstart Teksavvy, which has aggressively targeted a younger demographic with ads on mass transit and social media campaigns.

Doshi won’t comment on the competition specifically, but he does see the customer trajectory the new move creates. “The focus for the Fido brand [is] serving the millennial segment in particular,” he notes. “I believe if a Rogers brand serves the family better and that is what you are now into as a life stage, that’s what a customer would expect to do.”

This article was originally published on Canadian Business

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