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Is Quebec a Model for Wireless Competition?

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A report from The Globe and Mail says to increase wireless competition in Canada, we could look at the model being used in–Quebec. The province introduced Bill 60 back in late 2009 which limited cancellation fees and ensured they were transparent for all consumers:

To end the abusive practices of the wireless triumvirate, Quebec imposed limits to the prohibitive termination fees, which cannot exceed the value of the handset subsidy and fall over time. Moreover, these fees need to be clearly identified in the services contract. And when wireless providers change the terms of their contract midway through, consumers can walk away penalty free.

Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador have followed suit like Quebec in implementing similar laws to protect consumers.

Has Bill 60 made a difference though? Based on the latest CRTC data on average wireless revenue per user (ARPU) in Quebec, telecom analyst Sophy Lambert-Racine from the Union des Consommateurs believes things have changed for the better:

The average monthly bill had gone down to $50.36 a month in 2011 from its peak of 2009 and is on par with where it stood in 2007. Quebec boasts the lowest wireless prices in the country, with an average bill that is 13 per cent cheaper than in Ontario and 49 per cent cheaper than in Alberta.

Wireless changes are coming with the CRTC soon to release its final wireless code. But with our newer wireless entrants up for sale and being eyed by the incumbents, will it end up making a difference?

What do you think about other provinces implementing consumer protection practices like in Quebec?

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  • Prices may be a little cheaper here in Quebec but we pay provincial and federal taxes which is almost 16%. Government wins.

  • Just take my money!

  • Prices are still overpriced and 3 years contract… far from being a model.

  • Jon

    Love the lies propagated in the article. These fees are not clear, not indicated on my bill or online and our plans are not cheaper either. Québécois simply are choosing cheaper plans by choice, not because the plans themselves are cheaper vs other provinces.

  • PhotoGreekVM

    Is Quebec a model for anything?

  • Amazing poutine?

  • I’m living in Quebec and I totally agree with you, we have access to the same plans than everywhere else in Canada; the only difference is that we have Vidéotron which are supposed to bring us some competition, but clearly not at this time.

    Plus, we have to pay 15% taxes when in Alberta they only have to pay 5%. Okay, we have bill 60 and more people choose cheaper plan (which doesn’t mean that we have better plans), but what this article doesn’t take in consideration is that the salaries here in Quebec are less than the rest of Canada and we get to pay more taxes so at the end we need to cut off on some of our spending to eat and live.

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