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OpenMedia.ca Launches ‘Stop the Squeeze’ Campaign Against Our ‘Big 3’ Carriers

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OpenMedia.ca has launched a new campaign called ‘Stop the Squeeze’, to argue against the near oligopoly by the major cellphone providers in Canada. The organization previously successfully campaigned against usage-based billing for internet that attracted national attention:

OpenMedia.ca is asking Canadians to encourage the government to set aside key wireless spectrum, which, says OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson, the Big Three giant cell phone providers hope to gobble up in order to shut out start-ups and independent providers.

OpenMedia.ca’s efforts come partly in response to an attempt by Rogers to mimic grassroots campaign tactics (curiously reminiscent of those used by the pro-Internet community) to convince government that Big Telecom should be able to control as much wireless spectrum as it wants. Says Anderson, “This would kill the few independent mobile options we have. That means increased prices and even worse customer service.”

“We have reports that lobbyists from the Big Three are working overtime to manipulate the government,” continues Anderson. “This is all part of a multi-faceted campaign for a command-and-control Internet and communications system. Canadians need to come together to stand against this.”

The new ‘Stop the Squeeze’ campaign notes the following:

On the eve of a critical new wireless spectrum auction, we have reports that the Big Three cell phone giants (who already control almost 94% of the market) are trying to trick the government into shutting independent competitors out of the market. They’re trying to block competitors from being able to use essential wireless spectrum. These giant phone companies are going so far as to use high-priced lobbyists and one is even using a fake grassroots campaign1.

If the Big Three succeed, they will:

  • Squeeze independent providers out of the cell phone market.
  • Squeeze Canadians into binding longer term contracts with disrespectful customer service.
  • Squeeze more money out of your wallet every single month through new fees on your bill.

In short, they will kill independent competition and be the only game in town. This scheme will lock Canada behind the rest of the world on mobile communications, cripple essential innovation, limit social progress, and drain your wallet every month.

Canadians already pay some of the highest cell phone fees in the industrialized world and this is going to make it worse2.

Click here to visit StoptheSqueeze.ca and send a message to Prime Minister Harper and Industry Minister Christian Paradis.

What do you think? Do our ‘Big 3’ carriers have an iron grip on the wireless industry?

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  • Lansky52

    Fuck the big 3 and fuck miami’s big 3. The worst thing in canadian history is our internet data caps and smartphone wireless data cap. What is the point of 4g LTE when most people have an average of 500mb-1gb data plans? Retarded. Wind for the win but they are to small right now.

  • Anonymous

    The only way this can truly be stopped is for the government to drop the foreign ownership rules. And for the nahsayers that say “No let’s keep it Canadian” I ask you this … What have these three Canadian companies done for you lately? Seems to me they don’t care we’re Canadian and all that’s important to them is money. Canada is second only to Italy with telecom profit margins (In the developed world)

  • Anonymous

    This huge. Everyone who uses a cell phone should sign this.

  • We remain optimistic that the government will see that unequal treatment of any of the established Canadian companies will make Canada less competitive. We believe we need access to 700 MHz spectrum to ensure the best experience possible for our rural customers.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Hey Chris @ Rogers, I can barely hear you with Rogers’ “corporate dick” in your mouth! How bout you STFU & crawl back under that rock! I highly doubt Rogers is in jeopardy of being mistreated or that you or your company are concerned about “the best experience possible for our rural customers.” when you don’t provide it now to rural, suburban, or inner city clients! So why would acquisition of the 700 MHz spectrum change that? You’re concerned only with maintaining your oligopoly let’s not kid ourselves. Your company & the other “big 2” are worried Canada will become less competitive? You mean less than it is now? You sir, are a clown!    

  • Anonymous

    Does the competition bureau have their head in the sand! They keep ignoring this issue which the big 3 and the CRTC create. The competition bureau has not acted at all!
    Here is what we need to do. Abolish the CRTC and open markets to ALL foreign investments into this heavily anti competitive sector. This includes telecommunication, internet, tv and radio.

  • Frankie

    The “Keep it Canadian” part is just to serve big corporations purpose. Just look at the gas market and you’ll see that Petro Canada is vs all the other gas companies which are foreign owned and operated with no complaints from our government, Shell, Imperial Oil etc.

  • I couldn’t help but laugh. I’ve had customers say some not-so-nice things before and call me names, but this one stands near the top. Very…colourful.

    As to your question:  “So why would acquisition of the 700 MHz spectrum change that?”

    Well, the 700 MHz spectrum covers a much wider area than other mobile spectrum bandwidths. It will enable us to roll out LTE – with its unprecedented high speeds and improved quality – to smaller communities so more Canadians can participate in the digital future. It also provides better in-building penetration so customers in urban centres can enjoy the benefits of LTE consistently.

     @Rogers_Chris:twitter

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Even though you answered part of my question I see you’re either incapable or uninclined to answer/comment on my other statements. Maybe because what I profess is true and you can’t deny the facts? The “Big 3” have a monopoly, want to maintain the “status quo” and competition doesn’t exist. When one of the “3” rolls out a new plan/bundle the other 2 are quick to follow. They never innovate or offer something even better than what the competition does they just match one another’s offerings. There’s a reason Canada is just behind Italy as the most profitable telecoms.  Just another corporate stooge doing his best to spin doctor. 

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