Business Internet Cost in Canada: Guide for Business Owners

As a business owner or office manager, you’re constantly juggling decisions to keep your operations smooth and efficient. Among these, choosing the right Internet service stands out as a crucial yet often perplexing task. “Am I overpaying for my business Internet?” is a question that might frequently cross your mind.

In this detailed guide, we’ll dive into the key aspects that influence business Internet pricing in Canada. This isn’t just another rant about high Internet costs. Instead, it’s a strategic approach to help you navigate the complexities of Internet services, ensuring you’re making the most informed choices for your business’s unique needs. From understanding bandwidth requirements to exploring cost-effective options, let’s unravel the secrets to mastering your business’s Internet setup.

Business Internet Cost Chart for Canadians

Connection typeMonthly Service Cost (low)Monthly Service Cost (high)
Fixed Wireless/Microwave$150$1,000
Satellite (GEO)$100$8,100
Satellite (LEO)$125TBD
Fibre – GPON/Shared$40$150
Fibre-optic – Dedicated Access$400$3,500

As you can see from the table, ensuring you’re not paying too much for your Internet is different for every business. The ranges can be large and depend on many factors:

Assessing Your Business Requirements

Speed and BandwidthHigher speeds and greater bandwidth typically mean higher costs.
Service Level Agreements (SLAs)Contracts guaranteeing uptime and support can add to the cost but provide peace of mind.
Contract LengthLonger contracts might offer cost savings but reduce flexibility.

1. Assessing Bandwidth Requirements

  • Determining Bandwidth Needs: Estimate the amount of data your business processes daily to identify the required bandwidth. Consider both download and upload speeds.
  • Upload vs. Download: Understand your business operations. If you’re hosting websites or cloud services, higher upload speeds are crucial. Conversely, for content consumption, like streaming or downloading files, prioritize download speeds.

2. Contingency Plans for Internet Downtime

  • Impact Assessment: Evaluate how internet downtime affects your operations. Does it halt sales, disrupt communication, or slow down productivity?
  • Backup Solutions: Consider backup options like secondary internet connections or mobile data plans to ensure business continuity during outages.

3. Remote Team Support

  • High Upload Capacity for Collaboration: For businesses with remote teams, strong upload speeds are essential for seamless video conferencing, file sharing, and cloud-based collaboration tools.
  • Reliable and Consistent Connectivity: Ensure that your internet connection is reliable to maintain productivity and effective communication among remote teams.

4. Requirements for IP Phones

  • Stability Over Speed: IP phones require stable internet connections more than high bandwidth. Look for services that offer consistent performance with minimal packet loss and latency.
  • Quality of Service (QoS) Settings: Ensure your ISP can prioritize voice traffic to maintain call quality even during high data usage periods.

5. Internet Options: Rural vs. Urban

  • Urban Areas: Typically, urban businesses have access to various options like fiber-optic, DSL, and cable internet, offering higher speeds and reliability.
  • Rural Areas: Satellite or fixed wireless internet options are more common in rural areas. These might offer lower speeds and higher latency but are improving with new technologies.

6. Building Relationships with ISPs

  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs): Understand the guarantees your ISP provides regarding uptime, speed, and customer support.
  • Negotiating Contracts: Leverage your relationship with ISPs to negotiate better terms, especially if you have multiple business locations or high data needs.
  • Personalized Solutions: A good relationship with your ISP can lead to more tailored solutions fitting your specific business needs, potentially saving costs in the long run.

The most limiting factor is where your office is located. Follow these steps to logically work through the decision of finding an affordable Internet service.  For a more detailed breakdown of these costs, visit Why is Business Internet More Expensive?

Step 1

  • Figure out which options are available. In most of Canada, you will have the option of various satellite providers, but that is often a last-resort option. Let’s start with a cable-based Internet. The easiest way to accomplish this is to ask your business neighbors. Each will likely use a different provider, and whatever they use should be available to you, too. 
  • In my experience, even in a multi-tenant building, there can be a disparity in services available and how much they are being paid. Open communication with your neighbors is the best route for clarity. 

Step 2

  • Figure out if anyone is actively expanding around your area. In Canada’s rural and metro regions, companies actively compete for new business and build new f fiber-optic Internet networks. One way to accomplish this is to contact a trusted technology partner (Managed Service Provider) and ask them what’s happening in your area with new business telecom options. 

Step 3

Additional Costs and Considerations for Comercial Businesses

When budgeting for commercial internet, it’s important to factor in additional costs and considerations that could impact your overall expenses and experience.

Installation and Maintenance Costs

  • Installation: This can vary widely depending on the provider and type of internet. Some providers offer free installation as part of a promotion or contract, while others may charge significant fees.
  • Maintenance: Consider the potential costs of maintaining your connection. While some providers include maintenance as part of the service, others may charge extra for repairs or upgrades.

The Importance of Good Customer Support

  • Downtime Costs: Internet downtime can be costly for businesses. Reliable customer support that quickly addresses issues is crucial.
  • 24/7 Support: Ensure that your provider offers round-the-clock support, especially if your business operates outside standard hours.

Upgrades and Future-Proofing Your Internet Connection

  • Scalability: Choose a plan that can grow with your business. Consider providers that offer easy upgrades to higher speeds or bandwidth.
  • Future Technologies: Stay informed about emerging technologies like 5G and how they might affect your internet choices in the future.

3 scenarios that can cause you to overpay for Internet service

Scenario 1 – Reselling

The first scenario is when a last mile or middle-man is involved.  This can – but does not always – increase the price. An example of this would be a carrier that does not own any infrastructure in your region. A simple example is if you asked Sask-Tel for an Internet service in BC. They clearly don’t own a network there, but can likely still sell a service to you by buying from someone like Telus. There is an extra cost to this arrangement. 

The other side of this is when a company works as a CLEC; they can get access to the local infrastructure at competitive wholesale rates, sometimes even having a lower price to the end customer.  This is more common with DSL or cable networks subject to CRTC rates. An example of someone who does this well is ITel Networks.

Scenario 2 – Monopoly Power

Something familiar but quickly changing is when you have only one viable option.  This monopolistic mindset is becoming less of a problem due to technology like Starlink and the Federal Government funding fiber-optic projects. One example that tells you a company has monopoly power over a region is where there are data caps. Read our full article on understanding data caps if you deal with this today. You will still find higher prices when the cable-based or fiber-based provider knows they are the only option in the area.

Advice – mention that you are trying Starlink, but you are open to keeping the other provider if the price is right. 

Scenario 3 – Construction Costs

Another scenario that causes high prices is when construction is involved and is completely paid for by a single business.  There’s no one answer to solving this problem.  Federal funding can help carriers expand the network and take the burden off individual companies,  or companies can get together and bargain as a group to bring prices down if the carrier allows it. 

Advice – One important step you can take is asking for quotes where construction is paid 100% upfront. This gives you some indication of the true price. 

You can also find this by asking where in town the company has had fiber for 5+ years (an on-net building) because those tenants will be getting more competitive service prices by now. 

Tip – There are no construction costs when going wireless, but installation costs could still be. Check out our article on 5G Business Internet to learn more.

What steps can you take to avoid overpaying for business internet?

  • Don’t buy more than you need: The first step is to ask your neighbors who they use and their opinions of them.  You may get multiple answers and multiple prices, but either way, this data will be valuable. This will be more valuable than Google reviews or other review-based data because experience with service providers is very location-dependent. 
  • Do your research: Another step you can take is to look at the Crtc broadband availability map.  The government spends hundreds of millions to provide services to rural and remote Canadians. In my experience, if you talk to those carriers and pre-order business services, your town may get connected sooner rather than later. Often, there is some flexibility in building plans, and pre-signed businesses can carry weight in the scheduling.
  • Ask for clarity until you are comfortable: Always ask the question about exactly how your traffic gets back to the internet and every service provider or Carrier that is involved in the transaction. The answer sometimes might surprise you and uncover single points of failure. 
  • For more questions, check out our article on What does a Leased Line Cost?

Optimizing Your Canadian Business Internet: Urban vs. Rural Options and Cost Considerations

Urban vs. Rural Internet Options in Canada

  • Availability: Urban areas typically have more options, including high-speed fiber, while rural areas may rely on satellite or limited wired services.
  • Internet Monthly Cost in Canada: Costs can vary significantly between urban and rural settings, often higher in rural areas due to limited competition and infrastructure challenges.
  • Emerging Technologies: Rural areas might benefit from new technologies like Starlink, altering the traditional cost and availability landscape.

Relationship with ISPs: A Key Factor

  • Location-Dependent Services: The range and quality of services can vary within the same building, necessitating open dialogue with neighbors for insights.
  • Competitive Landscape: Stay informed about ISPs expanding or upgrading their services in your area, impacting both urban and rural regions.


Now that you’ve read about how much the Internet should cost for a business, I hope you know enough to get your service price in line. 

As is clear from the table, ranges are wide, and so is the quality of the Internet across the country. With the right questions and a little research, any business should be able to get more and better bandwidth. 

Thanks for reading!

Photo of author
Michael is the main author and Editor on the InternetAdvice blog. With a decade of experience under his belt, Michael stands at the forefront of the telecommunications industry. As a Senior Telecom Strategist, Michael has witnessed firsthand the rapid advancements in technology and has been an integral part of pioneering efforts in the adoption of cutting-edge telecom solutions across Canada.

Leave a Comment