The government, seizing an opportunity to capitalize on deep public anti-cell-phone-company sentiment, claims that Canadians needed more competition in the wireless business in order to lower prices and improve service for consumers. But if the problem isn't lack of competition, but lack of transparency and terrible customer service, then expensive ad campaigns are not the answer, nor is artificial, taxpayer-funded, unsustainable interference in the market to force more competition. We need facts, not propaganda.
Last time, I took the Commission to task for trying to build excitement over the level of cellphone penetration in Canada in their consultation video. Why? Because the only metric that really counts in 2012 is the takeup of smartphones: smartphones do data, feature phones don't. Let's consider penetration in a more meaningful context.
Back in the summer of 2010, the CRTC decided to get the public's input online as part of its proceeding on the "obligation to serve." Big mistake. There's a habit that's getting entrenched at the Commission: treating online consultations as a substitute for both educating Canadian consumers and conducting real research.