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CRTC Calls for Cheaper Data-Only Plans from National Carriers

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Customers who are seeking low-cost alternatives from Canada’s large wireless carriers might not have to wait much longer. The CRTC has ordered the Big Three to offer cheaper data-only plans to consumers.

On Thursday the CRTC asked Rogers, Bell, and Telus to submit their initial proposals for data-only plans by April 23rd.

The regulator also lowered the maximum rate that these carriers can charge other carriers to use their networks. In a statement, CRTC Chairman Ian Scott said:

“Taking these things collectively, we’re confident that today’s decisions will ensure that Canadians have access to a range of affordable and innovative wireless services while fostering continued investments in high-quality networks.”

The CRTC did not go as far as to enforce agreements with mobile virtual networks (MVOs). These are types of competitors that would avoid the expense of having their own infrastructure.

The federal cabinet ordered the CRTC to reconsider a position it took last year when it issued a part of rulings against Sugar Mobile’s attempt to piggy-back their MVO solution onto the Rogers network. Canada’s telecommunications minister Navdeep Bains said that these decisions would prevent healthy competition and lower-cost options for consumers.

[via Financial Post]

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  • Joe

    If we can get Google Voice or something similar in Canada, this would be a game changer.

  • Trent MacKeen

    Does Google Duo count?

  • Truth Teller

    Ha ha, I know how this is going to turn out. It will be as effective as the skinny cable tv package requirement and the elimination of 3 year cell phone contracts before that:
    They will find ways to increase prices.

    Legitimate MNVOs would have helped though.

  • Surveillance

    Maybe Andrea Horwath will give free cellphone service to all ontarians to go with her free dental care

  • Joe

    Do you really think that subsidized dental care is a bad idea? Health care costs a lot more and that’s already free. Leave the number crunching to people who are qualified to do so.

  • Mike

    we have it. Check out Fongo

  • Joe

    I tried it a few years ago, but found it lacking in features and ease of use compared to GV. Willing to try again, but first we need data only plans.

  • Bill___A

    Yeah I’d like unlimited LTE data for $25 per month and I’d like to roam at no extra cost in every country that’s in North America, South America, Central America, and the Caribbean.

  • Riddlemethis

    I’d also like Trump abducted by aliens. Neither is going to happen so dream on dude.

  • Riddlemethis

    A one or two dollar decrease should satisfy the CRTC.

    BTW. These google ads on top of the page are annoying af. Gary, fix this.

  • Riddlemethis

    It’s MVNO ?

  • Tony

    I need more usage. I think 50GB should be be minimum. I have no idea why they are always trying to make it faster. To be honest at least make standard 3G free if they are releasing 5G. If you want speed, you pay for it but there should be some type of free internet to the public as there are antennas for tv.

  • J. Paul Jacula

    Health care isn’t free. In Ontario, we pay a health care premium (tax) based on income (and disproportionately weighted upon moderate income earners), not to mention regular income tax along with all other taxes, federal and provincial.

  • erth

    governments should stay clear of giving free anything to anyone. it is a social program and the reality is it will cost far more than the private sector because the government can never cut costs. the administrative costs, which are hidden, always cost twice as much as the private sector, which has the ability to cut costs when revenue is not there.

  • erth

    nothing from the government is free. in fact, it costs much more than the private sector. they just push the costs of the free service to our children.

  • It’s Me

    Leave the number crunching to people who are qualified to do so.

    Well, that leaves Andrea and her team off the list.

    Also, anyone that thinks healthcare is free may not participate. Further, anyone that compares the necessity of life saving healthcare expenses to optional dental services as justification should not even raise their hand.

  • Networx

    Yes Gary, you should do all this for free. God forbid you find an advertiser to pay you for the space and make a few bucks to keep this page going. What were you thinking? (The sarcasm is directed at Riddlemethis, btw)

  • Salinger

    I came here to read people’s opinions on what they feel the carriers might offer under this new directive from the CRTC. Is it wrong I was surprised to see it turn immediately into a debate on socialised medicine?

  • Networx

    TV you pick up with an antennae isn’t really free. It’s paid for by advertisers who buy commercial time on the shows you watch. Lacking the ability to generate revenue with advertisers how do you think the companies that build, maintain and offer internet access are supposed to earn enough money to continue operations and (God forbid!) make a profit so they can stay in business? Just because the Internet has become a utility like electricity and water doesn’t mean you’re going to get it for free. Welcome to Capitalism…we’re happy to have you.

  • Networx

    Yes, because when you privatize something that previously wasn’t trying to turn a profit the costs to end users always go down….cutting costs when revenue isn’t there always means reductions in service and staffing which diminishes the product and leads to more cuts or increased fees. I’m quite happy paying taxes for “free” healthcare and would accept the burden of adding dental care to the list as well. How that hasn’t always been considered a critical health issue before is beyond me. The private sector is, and never will be, the answer to providing better health care to all citizens. Just look across the border to see how right I am. Or have a glance at your last electric bill….

  • erth

    there should be an avenue for people such as yourself to give more to government coffers. and an avenue for people such as me, to not give at all. base on ideology of course.

  • Gord Henderson

    I was in Finland for a couple of weeks and I purchased a 20 Euro SIM that provided me with unlimited 4G internet for 1 month. Canada should have a similar offering.

    The productivity gains of this kind of access speak for themselves.

  • Taylor

    Are you crazy?? American’s pay more than 2x the taxes as we do towards health care and they also pay up front for their health care. Privatization has caused nothing but trouble for them. Be god damn happy we have the health care we do because it’s damn awesome.

  • Taylor

    That’s not how programs work…. They work because they have buying power from non opt out parties.

    It sounds to me that you make a decent income and feel entitled to keep all of it to yourself. You live in this country and are fortunate to make decent income. Pay your own.

  • Taylor

    he was being sarcastic…

  • erth

    How did this get on health care? i am talking about the government subsidizing data plans for millennials… leave the plans as they are, stop forcing private companies to change, as they will leave canada, and we will be stuck with crap the government thinks up which will neither be good, nor functional.

  • Stefan

    Exciting! I am using $15 3GB data-only plan on my iPad and would like to see $20 for 10GB.

  • Joe

    You are terribly misinformed. I’m guessing you don’t earn a living yourself. You’re probably just a rich kid who gets money from his parents. Go take a civics class when you get to university and learn how government works. Maybe then you’ll stop being so ungrateful to live in Canada.

  • erth

    rude, but funny. thx for your comment.

  • Joe

    You’re absolutely right that health care premiums are a sham. That’s why very few provinces have them (Ontario and B.C. only, and the B.C. NDP recently cut premiums in half while they prepare to phase the program out entirely).

    I don’t know anything about Andrea Horwath, but the NDP has been doing a great job so far here in B.C.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    Rogers Bell and TELUS will never leave Canada – they are too fat and bloated to compete out in the real word. If they could have, they would have. Ever wondered why? Other companies expand and compete. Rogers Bell and TELUS just increase prices in unison.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    That’s not what he meant by free. Why would you even say that.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    Oh my god, you really think that’s what he meant by free?

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    I’m pretty sure he means the intrusive style of the ads and not the ads themselves.

  • Networx

    Because I’m free to interpret what someone meant in my own way, as are you.

  • Networx

    Again, I’m allowed to interpret the meaning of someone else’s post as I see it from my perspective, as are you. Good day to you, sir.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    Ok, I guess you still don’t understand context – he didn’t say “ads” he was very spcific as to which ads, “the google ads on the top of the page”. That implies he finds the other ads acceptable so you need not worry.

  • Networx

    No, I understand context just fine. I’m not as picky about it in this case as you because I really don’t care all that much. Asking for even one ad to be removed is asking Gary to give up much needed revenue. That was my point. I can’t wait to see what you think is wrong with this explanation. Nice to know I’ve found the guy in charge of correcting the Internet today. lol Cheers, mate.

  • Bill___A

    TV is broadcasting, which is not affected so much by how many people watch or listen to it. Mobile devices are more like individual conversations, where it affects capacity. Both use the airwaves, but completely different with respect to how it is used and what the capacity is.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    Well I think you are the one that started correcting – I’m just saying there was no need for correction. He wanted Gary to “fix” the ad (make it less annoying), he didn’t say he wanted it removed.

  • workinmanblues

    thx. for that comment j. it is appalling that liberals brought in such a regressive tax. i pay 850/yr as a single person. but one of my relatives(who earns 7 figures/yr) pays $950 for a family of 5. disgusting.

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