Will the government cave under this pressure? We're hoping they won't -- after all, they've made a clear promise to Canadians to lower prices, a promise underlined personally by Prime Minister Harper at his party's convention last fall. We intend to hold the government to its promises. But already there are worrying signs, with Industry Minister Moore seemingly changing his tune.
One of the things we at OpenMedia.ca have been calling for is for wireless companies like Ting to be able to reach Canadians just like indie ISPs like Distributel, Acanac, Start or Teksavvy, just to name a few, do for wired Internet. At the moment Canadians are blocked by the Big Three from using Ting, which I think is wrong.
As of yesterday, our hard-won new cell phone customer protection rules go into effect for all new cell phone contracts/sales. The new rules, which were announced by the CRTC (Canada's telecom policy-maker) in June, apply right across Canada, so cell phone users from coast to coast to coast will benefit. These new cell phone customer protection rules will not be enough to rein in Canada's Big Telecom giants, but this is a step in the right direction.
Because Canadians spoke out and demanded change we've forced decision-makers to sit up and take notice. All Canadians will benefit from the federal rules introduced in June, and residents of Ontario, Manitoba, Newfoundland & Labrador, and Nova Scotia can also now rely on strong provincial legislation to protect their customer rights.
Canada's wireless market has taken another step backwards. Yesterday, telecom giant Telus announced it has bought out Public Mobile, a small independent carrier with 280,000 customers in Quebec and Ontario. Our wireless market is already highly concentrated, with just three giant conglomerates controlling over 92 per cent of revenues.
When we talk about foreign ownership of Canadian resources, it's nothing to do with economics or ideology. This is about street smarts. The foreign buyout of resource, infrastructure and agricultural corporations simply has to stop. Canada must state clearly that all of its resource-related and infrastructure assets and corporations must be Canadian-owned and controlled and that no single foreign entity can own more than 10 per cent, or we'll all regret it.