03/16/2020 10:09 EDT

Canadian Telecoms Cancel Charges Amid Public Health Crisis

Internet providers are dropping download caps and wireless companies are waiving long distance fees.

Eternity in an Instant via Getty Images
This stock photo shows young people working on laptops at a cafe. Canadian telecoms are making it more affordable for customers to stay in touch.

With large numbers of people shifting to working from home, and others isolated by COVID-19 lockdowns and shutdowns, Canadian telecoms are making it more affordable for customers to stay in touch.

Rogers Communications Inc. is waiving long-distance fees for mobile voice calls within Canada until April 30 as part of its response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Unlimited Canada-wide long-distance voice calling is included with many mobile plans but Rogers says the feature will be extended to other customers of its Rogers, Fido and Chatr brands.

The Rogers and Fido brands will also waive roaming fees outside Canada for consumers with postpaid plans and for small businesses until April 30.

Watch: What is social distancing? Story continues below.


Rogers says its Rogers and Fido services will not be suspended or disconnected for any customers experiencing financial difficulties over the next 90 days.

The change is among several measures announced by Rogers, Bell and Telus, as well as other players including Shaw, Videotron and Eastlink since officials increased their COVID-19 containment efforts last week.

Rogers Telus and Videotron say they are temporarily removing overage fees on internet plans amid an outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Rogers spokeswoman Sarah Schmidt says all its business internet plans and a majority of its home internet customers already have unlimited data but it will waive overage fees on other residential plans due to the public health situation.

Videotron says in a release that it is also suspending data limits on all residential and business internet plans to Quebec organizations to help businesses implement effective teleworking measures.

The Quebec-based company says its suspension will last until March 31 and the change will be applied automatically.

Telus on Thursday said it was waiving home Internet charges through the end of April, among other measures. The company also plans to flexible payment options for customers facing financial challenges due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Governments, businesses and other organizations have stepped up their efforts to use internet and mobile communications instead of in-person contacts.

― The Canadian Press, with files from HuffPost Canada