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Several Canadian internet providers are temporarily removing data caps on internet plans as more employers are encouraging people to work from home amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Quebecor Inc.'s Videotron says its current residential and business customers will not incur any overage charges on their internet plans between now and March 31. The measure is intended to help organizations implement effective remote work plans, the company said in a news release.

Rogers Communications Inc., meanwhile, is lifting data caps on internet plans for its customers until the end of May, a spokesperson confirmed.

Independent provider Distributel is waiving all overage charges on its internet plans for the next three months at least, its CEO Matt Stein said Friday.

Teksavvy also announced on Friday that it is removing overage charges, giving customers on capped internet plans unlimited data until April 5.

Telus went a step further, waiving not only overage charges on home internet plans through the end of April but also roaming fees for customers stuck in areas such as China and Italy that have level three advisories in place.

The news came after the Federal Communications Commission in the U.S. urged internet providers to reduce costs to consumers and increase broadband speeds. AT&T has suspended data caps for its home internet customers.

In Canada, 47.5 per cent – or 5.7 million – of all residential internet subscriptions in 2018 were for plans with unlimited monthly data, according to the latest data from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

Roughly 2.3 per cent of subscribers went over their data limits in 2018, generating approximately $76-million in overage revenue for internet providers. That represents 0.8 per cent of total residential internet service revenues that year, according to the CRTC.

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