According to The Wire Report, internal government emails cite the Liberal Party election promise of a 25% cut to wireless prices, will now happen “organically” without the government getting involved.
The details were seen in an email acquired through Access to Information, written from Innovation Canada to the Privy Council Office (PCO), noting changes in the market mean wireless prices will drop “organically.”
Analyst Margarete Ling with the PCO wrote in an email, “ISED estimates the commitment of a 25 percent price decline per gigabyte (GB), over the course of the mandate, will occur organically without intervention beyond measures the government is already taking and therefore, continuing with status quo measures is expected to achieve the desired result.”
“In this sense, prices are declining organically. However, at the same time, consumption continually increases. Canadians no longer want the lower GB plans. Therefore, it is unlikely that price/GB reductions will result in the promised $1,000 a year savings,” the email obtained by The Wire Report reads.
The conclusion from ISED was based on falling wireless prices worldwide and the Liberal promise tied to a 5GB plan, which can now be obtained for the price of a 2GB plan from years back, details the email.
The Liberal Party promised savings of close to $1,000 per year for a middle class family of four, as part of its re-election platform. A price tracker for plans 2GB to 6GB from wireless incumbents was launched back in July, targeting mid-range plans which have not fallen in price as much as low-end and high-end plans.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also promised to expand the entry of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) in Canada, to increase wireless competition. The email says it also examined mixed reactions by provinces to MVNOs, with some supporting the latter as a way to impact prices, while others were concerned about possible reduced investment by telcos.
The government is spineless when it comes to telecom policy in this country. Utterly captured by industry. And we’re all stuck paying more because of it. https://t.co/TQUtQhlw7m
— David Moscrop (@David_Moscrop) October 15, 2020
We wish we didn't have to say it, @NavdeepSBains, but we told you so. This approach was deeply flawed right out of the gate. People need more data, more choice of providers, and lower bills overall. When will we see a real plan that addresses this? https://t.co/NPoTCBztlM
— OpenMedia (@OpenMediaOrg) October 15, 2020
The document says wireless carriers would “strongly oppose measures to mandate MVNO access”, while consumer groups would have the opposite stance. It also adds, “the general public would be in favour.”
The partially redacted email was written days after the 2019 federal election.
The federal government had tough words, saying before if wireless carriers didn’t lower prices by 25% it would intervene to make it happen. Now, it appears the government won’t even be threatening MVNO expansion to twist the arms of wireless incumbents. Crikey.