Vidéotron


Vidéotron

Vidéotron Limited is an integrated Telecommunications company active in cable television, interactive multimedia development, video on demand, Cable telephony, wireless communication and Internet access services, primarily serving Québec, Canada, as well as some parts of Eastern Ontario. It is a subsidiary of Quebecor Media.

Vidéotron serves 1,660,000 cable television customers, including over 830,500 digital cable (branded "Illico") subscribers. Vidéotron also provides high-speed cable Internet access, with more than 1,000,000 subscribers, the most in Quebec, had activated 54,600 phones on its wireless service and was providing cable telephone service to nearly 742,900 customers as of July 2008. Vidéotron cable services are availble in Montreal, Quebec City, Sherbrooke, Saguenay and Gatineau. Vidéotron also serves areas in eastern Ontario, such as Rockland and the surrounding municipality of Clarence-Rockland.

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

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

Vidéotron's cable community channels are branded as VOX.

History

*1964: Vidéotron, under the name "Télécâble Vidéotron ltée.", establishes their first network of cable television in north Montreal and parts of Laval, with an initial subscriber base of 66. Their first president is André Chagnon.
*1966 – 1969: Vidéotron acquires and upgrades cable television networks across Quebec.
*1969: Vidéotron offers the first à la carte cable television service under the name of Sélecto-TV.
*1974: Bidirectional cable television debuts in Saint-Jérôme, Quebec, a world first.
*1980: Vidéotron acquires Câblevision Nationale to become the largest teledistributor in Quebec.
*November 20, 1985: Vidéotron's initial public offering with the Montreal Exchange.
*1986: Vidéotron acquires Télé-Métropole, the largest private French-language television company in North America.
*December 3, 1988: A subsidiary was incorporated under the name Protectron for home security services via their existing cable network.
*1989: The SuperClub Vidéotron stores, now the largest chain of video clubs in Quebec, debut. A network of fibre-optic cable is built between Montreal and Quebec City.
*1990: Vidéotron launches its first Vidéoway terminals in Quebec, the first system of interactive television in North America.
*1995: Vidéotron enters the Internet era: in the next year, they acquire an Internet portal, InfiniT.com, which becomes one of the most popular on the Internet for French-speaking web users.
*1997: CF Cable, which operates primarily on the western end of the Island of Montreal, southern Laval and Northern Ontario, is acquired by Vidéotron. The Northern Ontario division was subsequently sold to Regional Cablesystems.
*1999: Digital television is launched in Montreal in the spring, and then in Hull and Quebec City in the autumn.
*2000: Rogers Communications strikes an agreement with the Chagnon family to purchase Vidéotron. Under the deal, the Chagnons would have kept Videotron subsidiary TVA. Citing cultural sovereignty concerns, the second-largest shareholder, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, invokes its right to veto the purchase. After months of legal proceedings, Quebecor, which gained the Caisse's support, acquires Vidéotron (including TVA) instead.
*2001: Protectron becomes an independent Canadian Company and is no longer a part of the Vidéotron family of services.
*23 May 2001: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approves the transfer of broadcasting licences from Vidéotron to Quebecor. The interactive television service illico is launched.
*May 8, 2002 – March 2003: a strike then a lock-out of Vidéotron Ltee employees took place. The main conflicts between the employer and employees where wages, working conditions and more importantly the transfer of 664 technicians to a subcontractor where wages and working conditions were lower. The employer changed its position on the transfer of the technicians, but gained substantial rights. Vidéotron obtained the right to send 40% of the installation and repair services to subcontractors. Wages would be frozen until 2005, and the workweek was extended by 2.5 hours.
*2003: Video on demand and high-definition television become available.
*2005: Parent company Videotron Telecom merged, this operation was to address the urgent need of knowledge and equipment for the rollout of cable phone service.
*2005: Telephone services through cable with Cable telephony technology launches.
*August 2006: Vidéotron launches wireless service (partly using Rogers existing infrastructure).
*2006: Project Cleanfeed Canada initiative announced. (see below)
*2007: Vigilance on the Net campaign is launched in Quebec schools (see below).
*2007: High Speed 100 Mbit/s internet is developed and tested, WORLD PREMIERE
*2008: Videotron has announced the launch of two new Internet access services with some of the fastest download speeds in North America, Ultimate Speed Internet 30 and Ultimate Speed Internet 50 will deliver speeds of 30 Mbit/s and 50 Mbit/s respectively. With the two new Ultimate Speed Internet services, Videotron became the first cable company in North America to offer such speeds on a cabled network.
*~2008: Vidéotron plans to re-establish home security services.

Videotron Wireless Network

In July 2008, Videotron ltée and Quebecor officially acquired spectrum licenses for advanced wireless wervices from Industry Canada auction. At a total cost of $554,559,000, the licenses are entirely covering Quebec for an average of 40MHz spectrum, Toronto with 10MHz and south-east of Ontario. The network is expected to be fully operational in late 2009, in the mean time Videotron is still partly using Rogers wireless network to provide wireless service to their customers.

Project Cleanfeed Canada and Vigilance on the Net

In November 2006, to address the problem of the access and proliferation of child pornography sites, Vidéotron, Bell Aliant, Bell Canada, MTS Allstream, Rogers, Shaw, SaskTel and Telus, in conjunction with cybertip.ca (a nationwide tipline for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children), announced the creation of Project Cleanfeed Canada, an initiative designed to block access to hundreds of child oriented pornography sites. However, some critics denounce the initiative, saying that this amounts to nothing more than internet censorshipFact|date=August 2008 while in the mean time others applaused the initiative. [http://www.thestar.com/article/154517] To better address the problem of Internet security for families in general, Videotron launched in 2007 the Vigilance on the Net campaign. The campaign visited several Quebec high schools in the Fall of 2007 to deliver security messages directly to teens and their parents. Considering the great success of the program, the tour will continue in 2008.

Hot Topics

CRIA and customer privacy

Some Web sites reported that Vidéotron was the only Internet Service Provider in Canada willing to hand over personal information of its subscribers to the Canadian Recording Industry Association.Fact|date=August 2008. After further verification, this information turned out to be false. Like any other telecommunications provider, Videotron is subject to The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and is forbidden to provide personal information about its subscribers without a warrant.

Extreme High-Speed Internet

On August 14 2007 Videotron announced starting October 1 they will impose a 100 GiB per month download/upload limit with $1.50 per extra GiB to their previously unrestricted High-Speed Extreme Internet service, even to existing signed subscribers. [http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Videotron-Imposes-Extreme-Caps-86696?nocomment=1] . This decision created outrage among its Internet user, and has led to a class action suit against Videotron by consumer advocacy group Union des Consommateurs, the action is still pending.

Call Centres

The major centres are located in Montreal, Quebec City and St-Hubert.Vidéotron also has some customer service centres outsourced through various customer support agencies. Some of these include Utopia, Gexel Telecom, Synergie-Contact and Atelka. In 2007 Videotron made a partnership with Xceed Contact Center to outsource some of the call centre work in Egypt.

References

External links

* [http://www.videotron.com Vidéotron Website]
* [http://cg.scs.carleton.ca/~morin/misc/videotron.html Vidéotron Privacy Boycott]
* [http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=168891 Videotron Cable London gets its Upgrade from NTL:Home]


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