OpenMedia.ca has launched a new campaign called ‘Stop the Squeeze’, to argue against the near oligopoly by the major cellphone providers in Canada. The organization previously successfully campaigned against usage-based billing for internet that attracted national attention:
OpenMedia.ca is asking Canadians to encourage the government to set aside key wireless spectrum, which, says OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson, the Big Three giant cell phone providers hope to gobble up in order to shut out start-ups and independent providers.
OpenMedia.ca’s efforts come partly in response to an attempt by Rogers to mimic grassroots campaign tactics (curiously reminiscent of those used by the pro-Internet community) to convince government that Big Telecom should be able to control as much wireless spectrum as it wants. Says Anderson, “This would kill the few independent mobile options we have. That means increased prices and even worse customer service.”
“We have reports that lobbyists from the Big Three are working overtime to manipulate the government,” continues Anderson. “This is all part of a multi-faceted campaign for a command-and-control Internet and communications system. Canadians need to come together to stand against this.”
The new ‘Stop the Squeeze’ campaign notes the following:
On the eve of a critical new wireless spectrum auction, we have reports that the Big Three cell phone giants (who already control almost 94% of the market) are trying to trick the government into shutting independent competitors out of the market. They’re trying to block competitors from being able to use essential wireless spectrum. These giant phone companies are going so far as to use high-priced lobbyists and one is even using a fake grassroots campaign1.
If the Big Three succeed, they will:
- Squeeze independent providers out of the cell phone market.
- Squeeze Canadians into binding longer term contracts with disrespectful customer service.
- Squeeze more money out of your wallet every single month through new fees on your bill.
In short, they will kill independent competition and be the only game in town. This scheme will lock Canada behind the rest of the world on mobile communications, cripple essential innovation, limit social progress, and drain your wallet every month.
Canadians already pay some of the highest cell phone fees in the industrialized world and this is going to make it worse2.
Click here to visit StoptheSqueeze.ca and send a message to Prime Minister Harper and Industry Minister Christian Paradis.
What do you think? Do our ‘Big 3’ carriers have an iron grip on the wireless industry?