According to CBC News, Industry Canada’s $9 million dollar wireless ad blitz on TV, radio and the web last year didn’t really do anything for Canadian cellphone users, other than leave them angry and frustrated with the lack of competition in the sector, based on the results of a government-commissioned poll.
NDP MP Glenn Thibeault criticized the government, saying:
“They had all the trumpet and fanfare. But when it comes time to actually implementing these policies, nothing happens.”
“It just continues to show you that the Conservatives don’t really have a plan when it comes to the digital economy, when it comes to telecoms and when it comes to protecting Canadians,”
The poll revealed only 4 per cent of the 2,002 respondents were aware taxpayer dollars paid for the ad campaign. Canadian cellphone user Dann Verner says he’s facing higher bills than before and consumers haven’t won big, but “It was the Big 3 that won big again.”
Industry Canada spokesman, Jake Enwright, responded to the story with the same boilerplate response we’ve heard before: “Our government’s wireless policy is clear: more competition leads to lower prices and more choices for Canadian consumers.” Enwright says the campaign was necessary as a plan to inform Canadians about the government and how it plans to shape wireless in the country.
After remaining silent on the issue of whether or not the government would back the CRTC in its legal battle against the Big 3, Industry Minister James Moore broke his silence yesterday and announced he would support the CRTC Wireless Code against incumbents. The Big 3 want the code to apply only to new customers who have signed contracts from December 2, 2013 onwards, instead of having all provisions apply retroactively to all users.
Nothing really new here, as we all knew from the time we saw those ads, they didn’t have any clear cut policy on how things would change for the better. The coveted search for a fourth national wireless player doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon. Wireless prices have risen across the board instead of falling and Canadians have taken notice.