Efforts to deliver greater wireless choice and lower prices start to pay off, as indie cell phone provider Wind secures investment to become fourth national carrier
News of $300m in new investment into Wind follows multi-year campaign that secured customer safeguards, new wireless rules, and a more level playing field for independent wireless providers.
Today’s announcement follows a series of recent actions by the government and the CRTC that were called for by Canadians, including: new customer protection rules, a set-aside of scarce wireless resources for new entrants, a cap on domestic roaming rates, and a landmark ruling from the CRTC that Big Telecom had engaged in “unjust discrimination” against smaller operators who rely on their infrastructure to provide services. This new investment in affordable cell phone service is a direct result, in particular, of the Industry Minister Moore ensuring wireless spectrum set aside for new entrants not be taken and hoarded by the Big Three.
Many of these recommendations can be found in OpenMedia.ca’s Time For an Upgrade crowdsourced cell phone policy plan.
“Today’s announcement is great news for Canadians who are looking for an alternative to the Big Three,” says OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson.“For too long, Canadians have faced a double-whammy of some of the highest prices and some of the worst service in the industrialized world. These telecom giants are holding our country back, and have largely gotten away with it because they knew Canadians were trapped. Now it looks like if the government stays the course, Canadians will finally have an affordable option outside the Big Three.”
Anderson continued: “Today’s development is the direct result of steps taken by the CRTC and the government to start leveling the playing field and ensure every Canadian has unfettered access to independent cell phone options. Industry Minister James Moore has listened to Canadians and we’re starting to see some positive results.
“It’s essential that Moore build on this positive momentum and continue to take common sense steps to open wireless networks to more affordable independent cell phone options. That means ensuring cost-based wholesale roaming rates, access to the networks for all providers, and ultimately freeing our wireless networks from the control of the telecom giants. It’s especially important that the government hold strong on preventing the Big Three from grabbing spectrum that had been set aside for new entrants.”
Over 70,000 Canadians have spoken out for lower prices and greater choice at http://DemandChoice.ca and https://OpenMedia.ca/gatekeepers
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