Internet, Phone Bills Too High in Canada, at $100-212 Monthly Combined: PIAC

Canadians pay the highest wireless bills in the world, multiple studies seem to confirm. The latest is a report issued by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), an Ottawa-based consumer advocacy group.

According to the PIAC’s findings, Canadians are spending between $100 and $212 a month per household for communication services. We can agree that communication is essential, but Canadians are spending, on average, 7.6% of their annual expenditures on it, making it more of a “luxury,” especially considering that communication expenditures exceed those of clothing, healthcare, and education (via CBC).

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Looking back to 2012, the study reveals that low-income Canadians — with an average income of $17,300 — spent about $1,538 on communication services, representing their fourth-largest expenditure after shelter, transportation, and food.

The study, titled “No Consumer Left Behind,” suggests five things the Canadian regulator should do to address this issue:

• The federal government should amend the Telecommunications, Broadcasting and Radiocommunications Acts to include “affordability” under universal service obligations
• Affordability in such cases should be calculated against other relevant expenditures to ensure Canadians don’t have to cut spending on other essentials
• The requirements should respect consumer control over expenses and choice of services as much as possible
• Any government policy or regulatory initiatives for low-income consumers should be designed with affordability in mind
• The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission should conduct yearly research on the affordability of the four major services: landline, cellphone, internet and television

The PIAC isn’t the only one to find that Canadians pay the highest phone bills globally: The Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Wireless Matrix found the same.

According to that report, Canadians pay an average of $6 more than their US counterparts, where the average phone bill is $50 per month. Europeans, for example, pay much less for a typical package consisting of home phone, wireless, broadband, and TV service: what costs $182 in Canada is $93 in France and $102 in the UK.

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

  • aRhyno

    if you make 17k a year, you should not spend 1500 on phone bills…priorities… priorities…smartphones are a luxury last i checked. and a pay as you go plan is about 10-20 a month. looks like we need more education on money management but we already knew this.

  • malygos21

    Weather you make 17k a year, 500k , 10 million $ a year. What does it matter? Rogers/bell/telus are ripping you off regardless of how much money you make. So take your non sense elsewhere. They have a monopoly and are over charging. Wake up you fuck.

  • CanucksGoals

    There are a lot of people maxing out credit cards getting 60 inch TV and buying Prada bags. They want the luxury lifestyle but couldn’t afford them. Then they complain about companies sending them to collections.
    17k a year sounds more like part time job wages. Maybe go full time instead of sitting around playing with phones and browsing internet would help.

  • iverge

    Seriously we need to vote out Harper during the next election. They have done nothing for consumers! All big talk about a new wireless competition … that never happened. Internet still slow and expensive, airlines still charging fuel surcharges with oil at $45 and high bank fees still.. nothing done!

  • My 1/2 cents

    And in other news, water is wet.

  • Ugh

    It matters a lot – get out of mommy and daddy’s basement…put down your xbox, and go get a real job. Paying $1500 a year on phone and internet is having more of a premium package. I pay $1200 a year for phone and internet combined with Rogers and that is unlimited Canada wide including long disatance and 3 gigs of data for cell, and internet is 180 gigs of high-speed cable internet, so to consume $1500 a year would be the Cadillac of packages. Surely you wouldn’t buy a cadillac if all you can afford is a 10-speed? Get your priorities straight. Also it is “whether” … NOT “weather”, and “nonsense” is one word.

  • Chrome262

    LOL and you think anyone else will be better. Seriously none of them care, they all get paid by these companies.

  • aRhyno

    entitlement is a horrible thing. Glad someone has some common sense still. I work just as hard as the guy making 5x more then me. Let me go cry some more and want everything he has… Lol.

  • kkritsilas

    Yeah, its Harper’s fault. For pushing IC to disallow more spectrum concentration in the hands of the Big 3 by allowing them unfettered access to the AWS3 spectrum. By allowing the Big 3 to buy out new entrants. By allowing the Big 3 to charge “network access fees”/”network improvement fees” for >20 years. Oh, wait, Harper didn’t do any of that, he just picked up a totally broken cell system that got that way due to incompetence/disconcern by previous gov’ts (see Liberals).
    Get your head out of yoru ass.