Consumer Groups Back Ottawa’s Wireless Plans, Say Incumbents Using Scare Tactics

Competition is the most timely question in the Canadian wireless market: this was the keyword of the marketing campaign directed by incumbents attacking Ottawa, and it is the principle guiding the government when choosing to allow foreign investment in Canada. Most recently, the country’s largest consumer groups have added their voices to the debate that has erupted over the government’s wireless policies (via the Globe and Mail).

competition

The Consumer Association of Canada and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre jointly announced its support for the government’s push to create a competitive market.

“Bell, Telus and Rogers are trying to scare Canadians with misinformation,” said Bruce Cran, president of the Consumers’ Association of Canada, in a release. “We are happy that new Industry Minister [James] Moore is staying the course on spectrum.”

As we know, the Big Three love competition, but they consider Ottawa’s wireless policies unfair: from their perspective, the wireless spectrum auction rules would unfairly benefit deep-pocketed telecom companies such as Verizon. And Telus went as far as asking the Federal Court to clarify the fairness of Ottawa’s wireless policy — without proving any of its claims, of course.

The whole Big Three campaign has one simple message: the market is already competitive, and there is no need for a fourth carrier, whereas Ottawa is trying to implement what we have already seen in the UK, as we highlighted with the help of Michael Geist yesterday.

Fortunately, large consumer groups are backing Ottawa’s push to stimulate competition in the market, but as the recently published Telus plans show, this can unfortunately push the price of data plans up as a result of the new wireless code.

“The spectrum auction rules are designed to produce a more competitive wireless market that will lower prices for consumers – that’s what the big three don’t want you to get,” stated John Lawford, executive director and general counsel of PIAC.

“Canadians are expecting Industry Minister James Moore to move forward and open up wireless networks to new Canadian telecom startups” said OpenMedia.ca executive director Steve Anderson.

“It’s not lost on Canadians that Big Telecom’s expensive PR campaign to mislead citizens and pressure our government is being paid for on backs of price-gouged cellphone customers. Canadians have been on the receiving end of systematic mistreatment from these providers and this disrespectful PR campaign shows more than ever how critical it is for the government to rein in these telecom bureaucracies.”

Keep your fingers crossed!

Technology enthusiast, rocker, biker and writer of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter or contact me via email: istvan@iphoneincanada.ca

  • K3

    So how long will it take to see a resolution?

  • Chrome262

    it shows you how crooked they are, Almost 3 years ago, all the companies where offering huge data plans for the same price they are pushing for half a gig now. Its like they wanted to suck you into buying a smartphone, then raise the price to own it. and they put out these awful plans with more text and voice, but seriously we need data. Its such a drug dealer mentality. its screwed

  • Chrome262

    I don’t think its going to really go anywhere, for the big three. They will review their claims but unless they have proof, or a judge in their pocket, it shouldn’t affect the auction. Now how long till Verizon shows up, that is a different story

  • ????Dennis

    Verizon is coming! Thanks to the Harper government for not allowing Telus to purchase Wind.

    Bye bye Roger$!

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Heard a radio ad last night on my way home from work (I think it was sponsored by CWTA) about this whole situation & how Canadians need to “inform” themselves and get the “facts”. It also went on to say how our cell phone plans are “cheaper” than the US by about 40% on average, etcetera, ad nauseam. Boy is the negative ad campaign against Verizon in full swing! If the Big 3 have rounded up the troops to fight this 4th carrier in hopes of quashing Verizon’s entry into Canada then it MUST be a good thing for Canadian wireless consumers & I’m all for it!

  • Michal

    patiently awaiting verizon so i can switch instantly if their plans even are close to Robbers

    and cant wait to talk to customer retentions when Robbers calls me to ask whats up 😀

  • crosseyed_mofo

    heard same radio ad, blew a snot bubble

  • sukisszoze

    I got a call, yes, a phone call, from a Bell sales person saying my contract is coming up and he offers a cheaper “3” years plan…thanks, no thanks..

  • FragilityG4

    I heard the ad too … I think I punched my horn in anger Hahaha … I would love to see how they compared the plans to get this unicorn of a number … Forty percent yeah right!

  • Guest

    My 3-year contract with Fido is up soon, and I want to get the iPhone 5s as soon as it come out, but when will Verizon actually starts here in Canada?

  • William

    Oh, boy, The only thing I care about right now is when can I sign a contract with Verizon?

  • ????Dennis

    Hang in there Buddy. Now is NOT the time to be committing to any contracts. Verizon isn’t stupid…. They’re not going to come into a new market and offer the same or more expensive pricing. They are going to compete and offer lower than the shit we are getting now. Do like the majority of us and wait till the Spectrum auction in January to make any commitments. 3 years is a long time… 5 more months isn’t…