Rogers announces Ignite Gigabit internet, 4K sports broadcasts

Rogers will make gigabit internet speeds available to customers in Toronto and the GTA this year, with the rest of Ontario and Atlantic Canada following in 2016.

New deal with Netflix promises better image quality, company says

Fibre optic cables carry data in the form of pulses of light passed along glass strands, instead of shooting electrical signals along a copper wire. (CBC)

Rogers will make gigabit internet speeds available to customers in Toronto and the GTA this year, with the rest of Ontario and Atlantic Canada following in 2016.

The company made the announcement at an event at Toronto's Rogers Centre Monday.

Rogers said it is starting to take online reservations for Ignite Gigabit internet packages with unlimited usage, gigabit download speeds and upload speeds of 50 megabits per second for $149.99 per month.

In addition to announcing the internet upgrade, Rogers said it:

  • Was introducing a new set-top box that can stream video in "4K" ultra-high-definition for its TV customers.
  • Will broadcast over 100 live sporting events at that resolution next year, including all 81 Toronto Blue Jays home games.
  • Has struck a deal with Netflix for a direct connection between its network and Netflix servers, to boost speed and image quality.

In the past, Netflix has ranked Rogers's Netflix streaming speeds as being slower than that of most other Canadian internet service providers.

Rogers said its gigabit internet will be available this year in:

  • Toronto's Harbourfront, Cabbagetown-Riverdale, King Street west, Queen Street West, Financial District, Discovery District and Yonge and Bloor neighbourhoods.
  • The GTA communities of Vaughan, Markham, Richmond Hill, Pickering, Ajax and Whitby.

It will become available by the end of 2016 to all four million homes in Ontario and Atlantic Canada where Rogers internet service is available.

The new internet service is similar to Bell's Gigabit Fibe service, announced in August. Bell said it had made download speeds of 940 megabits per second and upload speeds of 100 megabits per second available to a million homes in Ontario and Quebec for $150 a month. According to Bell, those download speeds are fast enough to save an entire 3 GB HD movie in just 25 seconds.

Previously, download speeds for major internet service providers in Canada topped out at 100 to 250 megabits per second.

Telus announced on Friday that it would be investing $1 billion to boost internet speeds across Vancouver to 150 megabits per second.

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