Canadians look to newly-elected government for action as CRTC report confirms huge year-on-year price increases for communications services
As monthly household telecom spending breaches the $200 mark for the first time, Canadians will be looking to incoming Liberal government for reassurance and action
“With telecom costs skyrocketing, Canadians are looking to the newly-elected Liberal government for leadership on how to address these increasingly unaffordable yet essential services. During the election campaign, Mr. Trudeau’s platform had little to say on the issue of telecom affordability. In fact, their platform didn’t use the word ‘Internet’ once. When Mr. Trudeau assumes office, Canadians will be expecting clear action to lower prices, increase choice, and close our growing digital divide.”
Key takeaways from the CRTC’s Communications Monitoring Report 2015 include:
Household spending on wireless services is on average $79 a month per household, an increase of 14% from 2013.
Average household monthly spending on all telecommunications services rose 6% from 2013 to 2014, coming to an average of $203 per month.
For the first time, the number of Canadian households that subscribe exclusively to wireless services have exceeded the number that only have landlines.
Only two-thirds of Canada’s lowest income residents have cellphones, compared with 96% of the highest income earners.
Similarly, just over half (59%) of lowest income households have Internet access, while 98% of highest income households have connections in the home.
Less than 8% households have Internet connections at or above 50 Mbps. Similarly, only 34% have connections at 16 Mbps or higher.
While 96% of Canadians have access to 5 Mbps Internet connections, only 77% of households are subscribing to services at these speeds. 5 Mbps is Canada’s current minimum target speed, compared to 25 Mbps minimum in the U.S.
Our marketplace is highly concentrated, with Big Telecom giants (Bell, Quebecor, Rogers, TELUS, and Shaw) accounting for nearly 84% of total industry revenues, a 1% increase from 2013. New-entrant and independent providers collectively account for the remaining 16%.
There are no computers in more than a third of low income Canadian households.
The news comes on the heels of revelations that Bell Media is petitioning the incoming Trudeau government to overthrow a recent pro-customer CRTC ruling that promises to increase to decentralize our highly-concentrated marketplace and expand the range of affordable Internet service providers in Canada. Community-backed OpenMedia will be watching the Liberal government closely as they decide how to respond.
Canadians are speaking out for faster, cheaper Internet at UnblockCanada.ca
OpenMedia is an award-winning community-based organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy by engaging hundreds of thousands of people in protecting our online rights.
Through campaigns such as StopTheMeter.ca and StopSpying.ca, OpenMedia has engaged over half-a-million Canadians, and has influenced public policy and federal law.
Campaigns Manager, OpenMedia.ca
1 (888) 441-2640, ext. 3