According to the CBC, the CRTC commission created to hear input from Canadians on setting up a wireless code has only resulted in over 500 responses from a pool of 27 million cellphone users:
The commission is expected to issue a draft code by the end of next month, after which a second round of online consultations will be launched. Public hearings are also set to begin in February.
More than 500 people made submissions to the online forum, a small fraction of the 27.4 million wireless subscribers in Canada, which account for 78.2 per cent of households — an increase of six per cent from 2011.
We previously told you about the CRTC’s plans to hear from Canadians back in mid-November. Some examples of input received was related to three year contracts in Canada and also the lack of competition when it comes to wireless:
The vast majority of wireless users have contracts with the big three carriers — Bell, Rogers and Telus. Those three were at the centre of the most submissions about a lack of competition in Canada’s wireless industry.
“Where is the competition? These plans are all the same,” read one submission below a chart showing wireless plans being offered by the big three.
In his submission, NDP consumer critic Glenn Thibeault said “Canadian consumers continue to be saddled with higher than average costs for wireless services as compared to other OECD countries.” He emphasized how three year contracts here go beyond the typical lifespan of heavily used cellphones. In the USA, only two year contracts are required for full iPhone 5 subsidies whereas they are at three years in Canada.
It’s not hard to see how Canadian companies are often accused of price fixing when it comes to plan pricing. An example would be the similarities seen in terms of pricing and features with recent unlimited plans from Fido, Virgin Mobile and Koodo. When one company makes a move, another quickly follows. Expect more submissions to the commission as their first draft code will be ready for public feedback in January of 2013.
What do you think should be included in a national wireless code?