Rogers, TELUS and Bell are all raising their cellular plan prices across Canada starting at $5 per month–blamed on the exchange rate (except in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec, where regional carriers offer real competition; and exchange rates ‘magically’ don’t apply).
According to Internet advocates OpenMedia, the Big 3 are able to jack up prices “because they can”, especially when there is little to no competition, speaking to News1130:
“The real reason is that we have so little choice and competition in the marketplace. When you’ve just got like three large companies controlling 90 per cent of the market, they feel that they can pretty much do as they please.”
OpenMedia director Josh Tabish also asks when the Canadian dollar rebounds, “will the Big Three lower prices back to where they were?”
While we’re seeing wireless rates increase, Internet and home phone rates are set to jump in February, as part of an uncanny synchronized price increase.
Coupled with the impending onset of ‘skinny’ TV packages starting at $25, as enforced by the CRTC, the Big 3 will make their money back one way or another from consumers.
Alphabeatic’s Peter Nowak sums up perfectly why this is the case for Canadian consumers:
Therein lies the problem with a giant vertically integrated oligopoly that controls the market for every service. When regulators and government put in place new rules to protect and help consumers on one front, the companies can simply turn around and ding them somewhere else.
Oh, Canada! Get your wallets ready.