100GB Cellphone Plan Overseas is Cheaper than 50GB in Canada, Says Govt. Report

According to consulting firm Wall Communications’ annual telecom report commissioned by the federal government, fixed broadband internet pricing went up by up to 13.4% between 2019 and 2021 in Canada.

Wall Communications divides available service packages into “levels” for its annual analysis. From 2019 to 2021, almost every level of fixed internet service saw its price increase. Level 5, which comprises connections offering speeds of 101-250 Mbps, saw the highest increase in pricing at 13.4%.

The only service bracket to see a drop in price was Level 2 (10-15 Mbps), which was 5.6% cheaper in 2021 than in 2019.

Telecommunications analyst Bryson Masse (@Bryson_M) shared some staggering highlights from the report in a series of tweets:

New data from the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) showed that internet prices in urban areas were actually on a downtrend going into 2019. However, prices started going back up in 2019 after the CRTC failed to implement lower wholesale broadband rates.

These wholesale rates represent what smaller internet providers in Canada pay to national players like Bell and Rogers for access to their networks. The CRTC last year hiked wholesale internet rates back up to 2016 levels.

The decision was contested by independent internet service providers like TekSavvy and Distributel. However, the federal Cabinet ruled to uphold the higher wholesale internet rates in May.

Regional ISP oxio recently published a breakdown explaining why Canadians pay more for internet service than any other nation.

In four of the six service levels, Wall Communications found that smaller competitors paying wholesale rates for network access and reselling internet service to their customers offered lower prices than national fixed broadband players.

According to the report, the state of mobile wireless in Canada is no better.

“In some cases, an international vendor’s price for a 100 GB (or higher) plan is priced comparably (or even lower) than Canadian plans in the 50-99 GB range,” Wall Communications noted. Ouch.

The Wall Communications report was quietly published on Canada Day, a national holiday when most mainstream publications are taking a long weekend (except us of course).