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Videotron scores string of successes in 2009

Montréal, December 2, 2009 – Despite the difficult economic environment and major challenges, Videotron recorded a very strong performance in 2009. The Company posted a series of achievements, set a number of records, and strengthened its leading position in the telecommunications marketplace with its 15th, 16th and 17th consecutive quarters of growth. During the year, Videotron completed the roll-out of its Ultimate Speed Internet 30 (30 mbps) and Ultimate Speed Internet 50 (50 mbps) services, becoming the first provider in North America to offer DOCSIS 3.0-based Internet access service across its service area. The highlights of the year also included the on-going deployment of Videotron’s new advanced HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) network and preparations for the roll-out of wireless service in 2010, the passing of the million-customer marks for both the cable telephone service and the illico Digital TV service, the creation of more than 600 jobs, and a global customer satisfaction rate of more than 96%, a satisfaction rate that almost reaches perfection with 99% for clients with 3 products.

“2009 has certainly been a watershed year for Videotron, a year of renewal,” said Robert Dépatie, President and Chief Executive Officer. “With our record customer numbers and the launch of important projects for the future, such as the building of the network that will support our wireless service, Videotron is on track to enter a new growth cycle. With the deployment of our new 3.75G Advanced Wireless Services Network, we are helping to lay the foundations for Quebec’s economic future and creating a new platform that will support both content distribution and partnership-building, providing Quebecers with the key to mobility and to a hi-tech future.”

Videotron recently completed the roll-out of its Ultimate Speed Internet 30 and 50 services across its entire service area, to nearly 3 million Québec households and businesses. Videotron is the first provider in North America to make the advanced technology available to all of its customers. Currently, Videotron's 1.1 million-plus customers for Internet access service have a 96% satisfaction rate.

Ultimate Speed Internet 30 and 50: A high-performance solution for homes and businesses
The Internet landscape is being reshaped by the proliferation of download sites, changing entertainment habits and households that share a single Internet connection. Videotron’s competitively priced Ultimate Speed Internet 30 and 50 services meet the resulting new needs. It is possible to download a 5 MB musical track or file in 2 seconds with Ultimate Speed Internet 30 and an entire 60 MB CD containing ten tracks or a database in 10 seconds with Ultimate Speed Internet 50.

Almost five years to the day after Videotron entered the telephony market, then controlled by a single, firmly entrenched provider, its cable telephone service has reached the million-subscriber mark (counting both residential and business customers). The innovative service became an instant success after its January 2005 launch, shaking up an industry in which there had been no true competition. “Due to advantageous pricing, and the full-featured telephone service we provide and a technology that is responsive to customer needs, the product registers a 97% customer satisfaction rate,” said Robert Dépatie.
Alternative to traditional telephone service achieves unprecedented popularity
One year after the launch of Videotron’s cable telephone service, 163,000 customers had embraced the advantageous alternative. By the end of 2006, two years after its launch, the service had 400,000 subscribers, a phenomenal year-over-year growth rate of 145%. At the end of 2007, Videotron announced another significant customer base increase of 59%, bringing the total to 636,000. The customer increase of close to 150,000 recorded thus far in 2009 (with more than five weeks remaining in the year) has pushed the total past the million-subscriber mark.

The popularity of digital cable television, driven by changing audience habits, has propelled the proportion of Videotron cable television customers who subscribe to the digital service to over 59%. Videotron believes viewers are embracing the quality of sound, image and content offered by illico Digital TV, as well as the increased flexibility provided by the video on demand service, with a yearly catalogue of 9,000 titles. Videotron is also the only service provider to offer a custom package option.

Surging growth in video on demand since 2005
The illico on Demand service has also registered unprecedented growth in recent years. In 2005, Videotron logged 10 million video on demand orders, paid and free. The number doubled to 20 million in 2006, 24 million in 2007, and 45 million in 2008, a 450% increase in four years. Videotron expects the uptrend to continue due to the growing customer base for the digital service and the rising rate of orders per household. The Company projects a total of 65 million orders in 2009.

“Videotron’s success, built on customer growth and the development, marketing and execution of major projects, has a significant impact on Québec’s economy,” said Robert Dépatie. “In 2009 alone, we created more than 600 permanent and temporary jobs and invested significant amounts in technology with the deployment of our wireless network, and in ongoing improvement of customer service with the opening of our new Customer Contact Centre. We are proud to be a Québec telecom leader that is helping to shape the Québec economy of the future by hiring and training skilled workers.”

“Videotron's robust, state-of-the-art network enables it to offer reliable products that lets clients realize significant savings and obtain all their telecommunications services from one supplier," said Mr. Dépatie. “In 2009, we competed aggressively and set the pace for the industry. We will continue to do so as we prepare to attack the wireless telephone market. With a 99% satisfaction rate among customers who subscribe to three services, we can say: mission accomplished in delivering the best possible technological and entertainment experience!”

Videotron Ltd. (www.videotron.com), a wholly owned subsidiary of Quebecor Media Inc., is an integrated communications company engaged in cable television, interactive multimedia development, Internet access services, cable telephony and wireless telephone service. Videotron is a leader in new technologies with its illico interactive television system and its broadband network, which supports high-speed cable Internet access, analog and digital cable television, and other services. As of September 30, 2009, Videotron was serving 1,759,700 cable television customers in Québec, including 1,042,400 subscribers to illico Digital TV. Videotron is the Québec leader in high-speed Internet access, with 1,145,400 subscribers to its cable modem service as of September 30, 2009. As of the same date, Videotron had activated 79,800 handsets on its wireless telephone service. On November 25, 2009, Videotron’s cable telephony service reached the million-client mark. For the fourth consecutive year, Videotron has been named Québec’s most respected telecommunications company by Commerce magazine, based on a Léger Marketing survey.

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Videotron reminds its customers of the importance of legally acquiring the music and films they download with the added speed of Ultimate Speed Internet 30 and 50.

“Ultimate Speed Internet 30” and “Ultimate Speed Internet 50” are registered trademarks of Videotron Ltd.

DOCSIS® is a registered trademark of Cable Television Laboratories Inc.


Note: Promotions announced in past press releases may be modified without prior notice.