MONTREAL and SAN JOSE, California, February 1, 2007 - Videotron announced last December the pilot testing of a new technology aimed at substantially increasing the speed of its Internet service - a first in North America. Thanks to Videotron's partnership with Cisco® and its Wideband solution, Videotron is targeting during this pilot test to offer customers Internet speeds up to 100 Mbps, which is five times faster than its current Extreme Plus high speed Internet service. Today, Videotron reported that a substantial technological breakthrough is at its doorstep with the delivery of unprecedented levels of service when tested in Montreal - a breakthrough that should lead the way in the North American telecom market.
Positive tests results
For more than a month Videotron customers have been successfully experimenting with increased speeds based on the Cisco Wideband solution deployed on the existing, proven Videotron Internet Protocol Next Generation Network (IP NGN). Videotron and Cisco are projecting they will reach the 100 Mbps objective in the next few months while maintaining the recognized high stability of the Videotron IP NGN.
Technological advancement at our doorstep
"As a leader in providing Internet services to the Quebec market, Videotron is pleased to once again surpass the industry limits with its leading-edge technology, its high performance network and its partnership with Cisco. This alliance enables us to stand far ahead of the competition with regards to delivery of Internet services, not only in Quebec, but across Canada," said Robert Dépatie, Videotron President and CEO. "We are committed to offering Internet users the fastest and highest performance network on the market, and today, we are announcing that the technological breakthrough is attainable in the near future."
"As video on the Internet continues to drive the need for unprecedented levels of speed and bandwidth, cable and service providers are under increasing pressure to transform themselves from being a 'service' provider into an 'experience' provider in order to compete in today's competitive markets," said Surya Panditi, Vice President - General Manager, Optical Technology and CMTS Business Unit, Cisco. "With this new offering, the Cisco Wideband solution allows Videotron to optimize its IP NGN network and deliver a new 'Connected Life', providing consistent, high-quality end-user experiences - and effectively putting Videotron in a class of its own."
Potential launch in 2007
These tests will continue for a few months. Until then, Videotron aims at putting a good product offer together while targeting to possibly make this service more broadly available during the 2007 calendar year.
Speeds surpassing expectations
The expected tests results in terms of speeds and capacity will go above and beyond the most demanding Internet users answering not only today's important download needs, but also tomorrow's very impressive user capacity requirements to deliver superior customer experience.For example, with the new Cisco Wideband solution, a high-definition banner of 50 MB could be downloaded in approximately four seconds and a song, in a fraction of a second. Videotron remains the only large telecommunications enterprise to offer this type of high-speed Internet service on its entire territory, thus granting it the undisputed status of leader of consumer Internet services in Quebec.
"Videotron will continue to extend its reach in offering 'quad play' services of voice, video, data and mobile to meet the convergent needs of its customers. With the Wideband technology, Videotron will set new standards in responding to the next generation needs of Internet users. We are committed to ongoing market testing to use as the basis for future innovation and technological breakthrough. By going to the field and pilot-test with real customers, we gain insight and direction which we feel is the lifeblood of this organization," added Robert Dépatie.
"If it is possible to believe we will be able to, someday soon, commercialize the new offer without investing millions today, it is certainly thanks to our great partnership with Cisco, and to the strategic decisions and the millions invested throughout the past years so our network would become one of the most efficient and reliable in Canada," concluded Mr. Dépatie.
About Videotron Ltd.
Videotron Ltd. (www.videotron.com), a wholly owned subsidiary of Quebecor Media Inc., is an integrated communications company engaged in cable television, interactive multimedia development, Internet access services, cable telephony and wireless. Videotron is a leader in new technologies with its illico interactive television system and its broadband network, which supports high-speed cable Internet access, analog and digital cable television, and other services. As of September 30, 2006, Videotron was serving 1,553,000 cable television customers in Québec, including 585,000 illico subscribers. Videotron is also the Québec leader in high-speed Internet access, with 769,000 subscribers to its cable modem and dial-up services. In addition, Videotron provides residential and commercial telephone service to more than 344,000 homes in Québec. Since August 2006, Videotron also offers wireless phone service.