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.
We have just received word that the federal Court of Appeal has officially granted Big Telecom permission to take Canada to court over new customer-friendly rules laid out in June by the CRTC. This means that Canada's three Big Telecom giants will appear before one of our highest courts and attempt to overturn important parts of the CRTC's new rules for your cell phone service.
Here's a crazy idea when it comes to wireless roaming: how about Canadians being able to use their one and only cellphones with the same single numbers in whatever countries they want at a reasonable cost without having to jump through all kinds of hoops? No one is expecting to use them for the same price as at home, but not paying through the teeth for the privilege would be nice.
Canadians have been speaking out for wireless choice and affordability for years now and, after years of telecommunications policy neglect, it looks like the government is finally starting to listen. It's heartening to see the government finally starting to reflect what Canadians have been saying for a long time now.
Canada's Big Three telecom giants are sounding increasingly desperate as their expensive ad campaign fails to connect with Canadians -- and now it looks like they're taking that desperation out on their employees. It's disappointing, although not surprising, that Big Telecom is resorting to strong-arming its employees into participating in their floundering campaign.
Judging by the remarkable grassroots response from Canadians, it's clear that Big Telecom has totally misjudged the national mood. They're wasting millions on misleading propaganda and expensive ads that almost nobody believes. Canadians are uniting against the lies of Big Telecom in a big way, and the results have been spectacular.
Canada's Big Three telecom giants are sounding increasingly desperate these days -- they're running expensive ads against foreign investment (read: Verizon). So what is Big Telecom really afraid of? Big Telecom's worst nightmare is seeing home-grown Canadian innovators finally have an equal platform to compete against their tired, bloated bureaucracies.
With a new report from the OECD placing Canada in 32nd place (out of 34) in terms of cell phone prices, the question is clear: Why is Canada falling so far behind the rest of the industrialized world? Our high prices are the direct result of the fact that 94 per cent of our broken wireless market is controlled by just three giant Big Telecom conglomerates. Many Canadians have no alternative to the high-cost Big Three.
Big Telecom is up to its old tricks again. They've invested some of their record profits into an expensive PR campaign, including misleading full page newspaper ads, in a clear effort to try to convince Canadians that cell phone service is not as bad as we know it is. Canadians will be asking why the Big Three don't put that money instead towards addressing their systematic mistreatment of cell phone users.
James Moore is widely seen as a heavyweight within Cabinet and the Conservative Party, and I believe it's a positive sign for Canada's digital future that the Prime Minister has named him as our Industry Minister. His appointment will raise expectations that the government will finally take the bold action required to open our communications networks to new more affordable services for Canadians.