Communication Options for Expats in Vancouver
The four major communications providers in the Lower Mainland are Shaw, TELUS, Rogers, and Bell. All four provide telephone (landline), television (cable), internet services, and wireless services. Other wireless providers include Virgin Mobile and Fido.
To get started receiving services is very simple. In most cases, the tenant is responsible for initiating new services, although some landlords will share services with their tenants, especially if the rental is a suite in a private house. You simply choose your provider and call to set up a new account. You will need identification, such as your driver’s license and/or passport, and an idea of what kind of services you are interested in. In most cases, it is far cheaper to receive several services from the same provider, as they usually offer bundles, saving you money on your monthly bill. For example, both Shaw and TELUS offer substantial discounts on their individual services if you elect to bundle several together.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is the home of Canadian programming, via radio and television. No matter your taste in music/talk radio or television programming, you’ll find an equivalent station/channel here in BC.
All major U.S. and world newspapers and magazines are sold here in Canada, and many of them can be delivered to your home in Vancouver as well. Any bookstore or kiosk, convenience store, or newsstand will carry a wide variety. As well, the major Vancouver newspapers are available for purchase on nearly every major street corner. There are local daily and weekend papers available for free as well.
Because Vancouver is a metropolitan city, keeping in touch is simple, and as easy as deciding upon the way that best suits your particular needs. Most coffee shops/bars/cafes offer free internet, as do the universities and some other public places. The newest rapid transit line, the Canada Line, offers full cellphone connectivity while in-transit, even though much of the line is underground. You never have to worry about being out of contact while commuting.