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TELUS Releases 42 Page Response to Canada’s Wireless Critics

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There’s been a lot of debate back and forth, a war of words over the state of Canada’s wireless industry recently. First, we had Ottawa professor Michael Geist share his thoughts on why the wireless market in Canada remained “woefully uncompetitive”, a response to Scotia Capital’s report set to dispel myths about the wireless industry.

Journalist Peter Nowak weighed in with his response to the Scotia Capital report, further debunking the ‘myths’ reported. He just recently followed up with another response based on more up to date info (2012 Q3) from the Bank of America’s Global Wireless Matrix, that charts Canada against other worldwide markets.

Now, TELUS has responded to both Geist and Nowak by releasing a report titled “Why do Canada’s wireless critics want to turn back time?”. Written by Craig McTaggart, TELUS’ director of broadband policy, he goes on to argue against previous criticism of the wireless industry from the likes of OpenMedia.ca, claiming their arguments against the industry use old data:

In the attached paper, I challenge the claims that Canada’s wireless market is “woefully uncompetitive” (as Professor Michael Geist puts it) and that Canadians “pay some of the highest prices in the world for some of the worst services” (as OpenMedia puts it). The most recent international statistics available show that prices for the kind of wireless services that Canadians actually use are below the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) average, in spite of the enormous area served by wireless services in Canada, our high standard of living, and the fact that Canadians use their wireless devices more than just about anybody else in the world. Canada also has some of the best networks in the world, in spite of the enormous cost of building and constantly upgrading them.

McTaggart goes into extreme detail with his response, which lasts 42 pages long and in the end stresses an open debate:

We are happy to have an open, constructive discussion about Canada’s wireless industry, but we think it’s fair to insist that the discussion be based on current data and rigorous economic analysis. If you think I’ve gotten something wrong, please say so. We started the TELUS Blog to have this kind of frank discussion, and as long as you respect our House Rules, we won’t delete your comments or call you names, like OpenMedia recently did to us.

There’s a lot of information going around and it can be hard to distinguish fact from fiction. I suggest you read all the reports and draw your own conclusions. The fact remains Canadians want better service and value from the wireless industry, which the Federal Government has long promised. The most recent CCTS report cited 60% of complaints were related to the wireless industry–which leads us to believe there’s still room for improvement.

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