Federal Government Directs CRTC to “Drive Down” Wireless Prices with Competition

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) has announced it is again directing Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to lower wireless prices in the country.

The federal government announced in a press release it has tabled the final version of a policy direction that “requires the CRTC to consider competition, affordability, consumer interests and innovation in all of its telecommunications decisions and demonstrate to Canadians that it has done so.”

The government says Canadian bills for telecommunications services “continue to be high when compared to other nations, and affordability is an ongoing concern for many Canadian families.”

Through greater investments and innovation in telecommunications, explains the federal government, this will drive down prices, particularly by increasing competition. ISED says areas of Canada with regional wireless competitors see “up to 32% cheaper” prices versus the national average.

“As long as Canadians pay too steep a price for their cellphone and Internet bills, our government will take extraordinary means to continue driving down the prices of telecommunications services. We are also fostering a climate of investment and innovation for Canada’s telecom service providers to improve the quality of services delivered to Canadians. Today, we are giving clear direction to the CRTC that consumers and innovation must be at the forefront of all future telecom decisions,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, in a statement.

Andy Kaplan-Myrth, VP Regulatory & Carrier Affairs from TekSavvy, told iPhone in Canada in a statement, “This Policy Direction will set the CRTC on a path to promote a level playing field for all competitors,” further adding, “It’s time to remove barriers for Internet competition, and TekSavvy is ready to offer consumers a real choice for fibre Internet services and wireless services too.”

Just squeaking ahead of this new policy direction from the federal government, Rogers, Telus and Bell now offer ‘no overage’ wireless data plans available, starting at $75/10GB.

The next federal election takes place on Monday, October 21, 2019.