In general, there are two types of internet tariff plans: unlimited access and fixed usage. The majority of plans now are geared towards unlimited access, where customers pay a monthly flat fee according to the bandwidth speed they choose. Prices start at around $160 per month for a 1.5MB plan, to $250 for a 6MB plan. More often than not, modem rental charges and installation fees are waived with the signing of a contract, and the service provider will dispatch a technician to your home within two to three working days to set up your internet access.
At present, most areas of Toronto and the GTA have high-speed internet capability. However, some rural areas still do not have access to broadband and can only get dial-up connections. There are government-assisted programs in place to expand broadband access, but it will take time before all locations can have high-speed connection.
Of course, internet can be reached via satellite from any location. There are two types of satellite internet. One downloads from the web through the satellite, then sends out data from your computer over the phone line. This is generally affordable. The other is full satellite hook-up and is quite expensive to set up and maintain.
Fortunately, this is usually not necessary as there are many internet providers in the Toronto area. Some offer internet through cable, others through high-speed hookups, and others through WiFi. Here are some of the internet providers:
- AT&T: http://www.corp.att.com/canada
- Bell / Sympatico: http://www.bell.ca
- NetRover: http://www.netrover.com
- Rogers: http://www.rogers.com
- Toronto Freenet: http://www.torfree.net
There are many, many internet cafes in Toronto that allow you access to email and the world wide web. Rates vary, but the average cost of usage in these cafes is about $2 per hour. Some internet cafes allow you to upload files, but many do not. Please check with the proprietor before uploading any files on an internet cafe computer.
There are simply too many internet cafes to list here, but you can find a list of locations here.