Canadians call on decision-makers at crucial public hearing to fix our broken wireless market and Unblock Canada
October 2, 2014
Canadians pay some of the highest prices in the industrialized world for wireless services. Last week, StatsCan reported that telephone costs jumped by 7.6% last year, or more than three times the rate of inflation.
“Our wireless market is broken, and Canadian families and businesses are literally paying the price,” said OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson. “The Big Three are shamelessly using blocking tactics to prevent Canadians from accessing more affordable alternatives. For years they’ve been unfairly rigging the market to limit choice and keep prices artificially high. They’re even blocking Canadian-owned affordable wireless providers like Ting from operating in Canada, despite their successful track record in the U.S.”
Anderson continued: “Canadians are tired of a broken wireless market that operates solely in the interests of a tiny handful of giant conglomerates. There’s clearly a serious structural problem that needs to be fixed. It’s past time and common sense for the CRTC to open our wireless networks so every Canadian can access a wide range of independent mobile services.”
Recent examples of unfair practices by Canada’s Big Three include:
- Suing the government for passing positive customer protection rules.
- Blocking Canadian wireless provider Ting from being able to offer affordable services in Canada.
- Unleashing a massive misleading PR campaign against greater wireless choice
- Engaging in “unjust discrimination” against independent provider Wind Mobile.
- Bell’s court challenge against new cellphone roaming and tower-sharing rules to improve choice for Canadians.
OpenMedia has worked with thousands of Canadians to create a crowdsourced roadmap to lower prices and improve choice in Canada’s broken wireless market. Leading innovators and job creators have called on the government and CRTC to implement this roadmap.
Canadians are calling on the CRTC to take action at https://UnblockCanada.ca
OpenMedia.ca is a network of people and organizations working to safeguard the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy.
OpenMedia.ca has campaigned for years for action to improve choice and lower prices in Canada’s cell phone market. Early in 2012 OpenMedia.ca launched a campaign decrying the price-gouging poor customer service and lack of choice in the cell phone market at StopTheSqueeze.ca.
OpenMedia.ca then highlighted Canadians’ Cell Phone Horror Stories in a crowdsourced submission to the CRTC, and released a citizen-driven report entitled ‘Time for an Upgrade’ detailing their findings and recommendations.
This citizen pressure resulted in a broadly positive new set of customer-friendly rules for wireless companies – national rules that reign in punitive three-year contracts, make it easier to switch to a new affordable provider, and impose caps on data roaming fees.
Communications Manager, OpenMedia.ca
- Measures to improve Canadians’ access to independent wireless services hailed as a positive step forward, although more will be needed to lower prices and boost choice - Source
- Telecom Notice of Consultation 2013-551-1 - Source: CRTC
- OpenMedia.ca: Concerned Canadian reveals Bell’s anti-competitive practices: https://openmedia.ca/news/concerned-canadian-reveals-bell%E2%80%99s-anti-competitive-practices-1
- Ben Klass complaint to CRTC (PDF)
- Crossing the Line - Ben Klass explains why he's taking Bell to the CRTC
- See the infographic showing how half-a-million Canadians spoke out against telecom price-gouging: https://openmedia.ca/sites/openmedia.ca/files/Tariffs_Timeline_111212_0.png
- OpenMedia fought for and won Open Internet rules that should prevent Big Telecom discriminating against competing services. We even flew in some of the original architects of the Internet to the CRTC hearing.
- CRTC report shows Internet openness complaints went up in 2012 - see this media advisory.
- OpenMedia.ca’s crowdsourced Casting an Open Net Plan calls for net neutrality audits and penalties for companies in breach of net neutrality.
- CRTC will rescind ‘unlimited use’ Internet decision – or Ottawa will overturn it. Source: The Globe and Mail
- OpenMedia.ca: Regulators pull back from usage-based billing after half-a-million Canadians speak out
- "If using the Rogers 3G or LTE network, for only $5/month, customers can enjoy 10 hours of viewing on their device" (This means non-Rogers content is unfairly more expensive than Rogers-owned content.) Source: Google Play
OpenMedia works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free. We create community-driven campaigns to engage, educate, and empower people to safeguard the Internet.
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