Tell the CRTC: It's Time to Open Canada's Networks

  Tell the CRTC: It's Time to Open Canada's Networks

For too long, Canadians have been saddled with some of the highest cellphone bills in the industrialized world.1 One in three low-income Canadians can’t afford a cellphone.2 That means no emergency calls when away from a landline, no texting with loved ones, no access to maps, email, and the Internet that we all depend on every day.

We need freedom in the market now to create the choice that leads to lower prices. And right now we have a chance to make that happen!

The CRTC has opened a consultation that could increase competition by opening up Big Telecom’s networks to indie mobile wireless startups (also known as MVNOs, or mobile virtual network operators). But for this to happen, the CRTC needs to know just how dire the current situation is.

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Our cellphone bills are too darn high.

The CRTC must take action to promote choice and lower prices — Canadians need affordable cellphone options now.

The way to achieve this is by opening up our wireless networks and ensuring fair rates for independent service providers. We’ve seen time after time that more choice leads to lower prices.3

  • Canada’s current system is broken. Right now, the rules allow the Big Three to block smaller, more affordable independent services. These rules must change to ensure every Canadian has affordable options outside the Big Three.

  • The solution to Canada’s high bills is more competition. We need to work to address the barriers to Internet access caused by unaffordable plans. When companies have to compete with each other, as we see in other countries — and even between different provinces in Canada — prices go down and data caps come off.

  • High cellphone prices hit low-income communities the hardest. We know that nearly one in five Canadians do not have a home Internet connection.4 That means that increasingly, low-income households are forced to be mobile-only, and are more vulnerable to the Big Three’s punitive data caps and unfairly high prices.

  • The digital divide disproportionately impacts rural, remote, and indigenous communities. All Canadians deserve to have a voice, and to contribute to our society and public narratives through media representation, political discourse, and content creation — we must fight to ensure they have the bandwidth to do so.

  • We need innovative new solutions we can't fix Canada's wireless market without innovative smaller providers. Allowing WiFi MVNOs is an important milestone in the battle for lower cellphone prices, but it’s not enough. We need fair rules for non-WiFi MVNOs as well to ensure Canadians are paying fair prices for our mobile phone plans.

We have to make sure the CRTC knows exactly how unreasonably high cellphone bills are impacting you! Take a moment to tell your story, and help us deliver the message that Canadians have had enough.

 

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We will submit your comment into the official CRTC proceeding. All information submitted will become a public record available via the web.​
 

Footnotes:
[1] How Canada’s Internet, wireless rates compare with international prices: Globe and Mail
[2, 4] Spotlight turns to data caps, as CRTC study reveals skyrocketing data usage along with ongoing telecom price increases: OpenMedia
[3] Rogers, Bell and Telus offer 7GB promo plan in competition with Videotron: MobileSyrup

 

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Press: Meghan Sali | Phone: +1 (888) 441-2640 | Office: 1-604-633-2744 | meghan@openmedia.org