Canadians pay some of the highest prices in the industrialized world for some of the worst Internet service – service that often comes with disrespectful customer assistance, inadequate Internet speeds, and deceptive long-term contracts.
There is a growing digital divide in Canada, as a considerable segment of Canadians cannot afford to pay for Internet access at all and Internet speeds are anemic. This is detrimental for families that are trying to make ends meet, disadvantageous for our economy, and destructive for democracy.
Two days ago, Canada’s customer-protection wireless rules came into effect — but two big telecom companies insisted in throwing out some parting shots as they got ready to put these new requirements into place.
Let’s keep going, Canada! Together with thousands of Canadians, OpenMedia.ca has put together a plan to fix our broken telecom market — now it’s time to speak up to put that plan in place. Learn more about this crowdsourced roadmap at https://OpenMedia.ca/UpgradeCanada
From Peter Nowak:
It’s Dec. 2, which means the CRTC’s new wireless code is officially in effect. As of today, consumers will (Read more…)
Co-authored by David Christopher
Today, 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. Those on existing contracts will benefit from the rules by June 3, 2015 at the latest – although the Big Three are fighting to delay it further.
These new cell phone customer protection rules will not be enough to rein in Canada’s Big Telecom giants, but this is (Read more…)
Internet speeds in Canada leave a lot to be desired.
That’s one of the reasons why Canadians have been calling for big telecom gatekeepers to be reined in so that innovators can provide Canadians with the kind of service they deserve. Learn more at https://OpenMedia.ca/Gatekeepers
From the Huffington Post Canada:
Canada has some of the slowest internet speeds in the developed world.
According to data from broadband research company Ookla, Canadians on average had the 38th fastest internet speeds in the world. Among developed countries, only a handful had slower internet speeds than Canada, among them Australia, New Zealand (Read more…)
Not gonna lie… this freaked me out a little bit. According to Professor Dwayne Winseck — aka “mediamorphis” on Twitter and on HowardForums, a post I made on HowardForums might be implicated in the suspension of his Twitter account last weekend.
That post can be found here.
Professor Winseck spoke at the International Institute of Communications Canada Conference in Ottawa last week. Here’s Ben Klass on how it went:
I also got to hear Dwayne Winseck talking about how Free Mobile has virtually wiped out contracts in France and how T-Mobile’s gotten rid of data roaming in the States. (Read more…)
Here’s a guest blog by OpenMedia.ca community member Barry Shell, who is writing to: “show everyone how Shaw and the other major Canadian Internet providers deliberately invent unnecessary obstacles to try to stop Canadians from getting lower-cost service from independent providers.”
Imagine having to pay nearly $200 whenever you want to buy gas from a different service station? Sadly, this is currently the situation when it comes to switching Internet providers in Canada.
Last month I decided to switch our home Internet service from Shaw Cable, the only cable Internet provider in BC—a monopoly—to Teksavvy, a small (Read more…)
Ottawa will crack down on big telecom companies hoarding this valuable resource – and that’s all thanks to Canadians who have been keeping up the pressure!
Let’s keep sending Industry Minister Moore this strong message: It’s time to rein in big telecom gatekeepers: https://OpenMedia.ca/Gatekeepers
Article by Rita Trichur for The Globe and Mail:
The federal government is cracking down on telecom carriers that hoard valuable spectrum licences as an industry battle heats up over the future of those publicly-owned assets.
Required reading: As leaked texts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership reveal plans to make the Internet even more expensive, let’s not forget about the growing digital divide that makes it challenging for many Canadians to access the Internet. Check out this great read about the importance of affordability in being a digital citizen. When you’re done, we’d love if you could share; and if you haven’t already, would you send Industry Minister Moore a strong message to rein Big Telecom gatekeepers and open up our networks to affordable Canadian options? https://OpenMedia.ca/Gatekeepers
Article by Angeline Chapin for the Huffington Post Canada:
A key ask in our Time for an Upgrade crowdsourced plan to fix Canada’s broken telecom market (https://OpenMedia.ca/UpgradeCanada) is that the CRTC oversee cost-based resale roaming rates to ensure that Canadians can access indie services and Canadian innovators can do exactly that – innovate!
Well, it looks like the CRTC may be listening. It’s time to keep going, Canada! http://DemandChoice.ca
Article by Rita Trichur for The Globe and Mail:
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is expanding its investigation of wireless roaming rates, sending the clearest signal yet that it is mulling regulation of those fees.
OpenMedia’s Steve Anderson has always stood up on behalf of Canadians against price-gouging, poor service, and poor policies that exclude Canadians from accessing affordable telecom options. Here he is doing it again in this short video. Check it out!
Telecom expert Peter Nowak makes a simple but clear point about wireless pricing in Canada.
From Peter Nowak’s blog:
In two weeks time, I’ll be taking part in a panel discussion at the International Institute of Communications’ annual conference in Ottawa. The topic of conversation will be familiar to readers here as it will focus on “facts versus myths in Canada’s telecom sector,” which I’ve written about extensively in the past. The other panel participants will be financial analysts Jeff Fan and Dvai Ghose, respectively of Scotia Capital and Canaccord Genuity, and telecom consultant Gerry Wall of Wall Communications, with (Read more…)
We’re now just weeks away from the implementation of customer-friendly new wireless rules, which come into force on December 2nd. In this piece, OpenMedia community member Ben Klaas looks at the advantages of buying a phone upfront and avoiding the hassle of a long-term wireless contract.
Ben’s conclusion? “The bottom line is that you are generally better off saving up for your phone than you are signing a contract!” – and, even if you are tempted by a contract, Ben recommends waiting until December 2nd when our new customer-friendly protections come into effect.
Telecom complaints have soared over 31% in just 12 months – and our own Steve Anderson was quick to respond. Speaking on CBC News, he called out the Big Three for “squatting on our digital assets” and for blocking Canadians from accessing independent, affordable wireless options. Canadians worked together to fight for and win customer friendly new wireless rules that go into effect on December 2nd – rules designed to tackle the worst abuses of Big Telecom. Even the government’s now talking about the need for more choices and lower prices. Thanks to you speaking out and keeping up the (Read more…)
A recent Statistics Canada report showed that high wireless prices are shutting out lower-income Canadians from accessing affordable Internet services. According to Telecom expert Michael Geist, “The digital divide remains consistent across all demographics, with wealthier households far likelier to use the Internet than poorer ones regardless of their age.”
Article by Michael Geist for The Tyee:
Statistics Canada released its biennial Internet use survey last week, and while much of the immediate reaction focused on the continuing growth of Internet use (due largely to increased usage by those aged 65 and older), the bigger story is the ongoing (Read more…)
Canadians are increasingly raising their voices against Big Telecom according to this Industry watchdog. Let’s keep this going. Send a message to Industry Minister Moore at: https://OpenMedia.ca/Gatekeepers
Article by LuAnn LaSalle for The Huffington Post Canada:
MONTREAL – Complaints about wireless data, roaming and Internet bandwidth charges have more than doubled, with Canadian consumers showing increasing distrust of the bills they get from telecom providers, says the industry’s watchdog group.
Canadians still waiting to see whether government lives up to promise to secure more choice and lower prices in broken telecom market
WHO Steve Anderson, Executive Director, OpenMedia.ca David Christopher, Communications Manager, OpenMedia.ca. (778-232-1858, firstname.lastname@example.org)
WHAT The Annual Report of Canada’s Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services have revealed that complaints about telecom service in Canada increased by over 31%.
We’re happy to report that your OpenMedia.ca team is intervening on the side of Canadians to protect hard-won cell phone customer protection rules that are under legal threat from Big Telecom conglomerates.
Regular readers will know that Big Telecom have gone to federal court to try to delay important parts of the CRTC’s new customer protection rules that were agreed on in June. Let’s not forget that these new rules were written with help from countless Canadians who took part in the CRTC’s consultation process – so Big Telecom’s court action is really a desperate, last-ditch attempt to overturn (Read more…)
Great news from Ontario – the legislative assembly has voted unanimously for customer-friendly new cell phone rules to tackle some of the worst abuses of Big Telecom. The rules, which come into effect next year, will complement the positive new federal rules introduced in June by the CRTC.
Under the new legislation, Ontarians can look forward to plain language contracts, caps on ridiculous cancellation fees, and a requirement for cell phone companies to get customer consent before amending contracts. On top of this, the Ontario legislation improves on the federal CRTC rules by bringing in stiff financial penalties of (Read more…)
Industry Canada takes a stand against Telus buying indie cell phone company Mobilicity; but it’s time for our government to move beyond preventing our broken telecom market from getting worse to actively reining in big telecom gatekeepers – gatekeepers who continue to block Canadians accessing independent and affordable telecom services
Send a strong message to Industry Minister Moore at: https://OpenMedia.ca/Gatekeepers
Article by Rita Trichur for The Globe and Mail:
Citizen-backed OpenMedia.ca says Canadians will welcome moves to stop Big Telecom narrowing their wireless choices yet further, but action still needed to fix broken market
October 30, 2013 – New reports reveal that Industry Canada’s will block telecom giant Telus from taking over indie wireless provider Mobilicity. Citizen-backed OpenMedia.ca, which is campaigning to secure lower prices and greater choice for Canadian cell phone users, says the move will help prevent Big Telecom from narrowing the wireless choices of Canadians yet further.
According to media reports, Industry Canada has turned down a proposal for Mobilicity to be (Read more…)
Last week, we told you about how big telecom company Bell wants to scoop up (paying) customer’s data. This indie ISP in Nova Scotia wanted to make its policy on your privacy clear as day. Want to make the switch to an indie provider? Check out https://OpenMedia.ca/Switch
From the Cape Breton Post:
Last week, Bell announced plans to begin collecting such customer data on Nov. 16. The company says the data will be used for improving network performance, creating marketing reports and selling targeted ads on mobile devices.
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.
This is bad news for long-suffering cell phone customers, and Canadians were quick to react. As @bladedandh asked on Twitter: “@JamesMoore_org So 1 less competition gobbled up by Telus http://ow.ly/q7U1A So much for doing what the #Canadian ppl asked for”
It’s a worrying development because our wireless market is already highly concentrated, with just three giant conglomerates controlling over 92% of revenues according to the latest CRTC (Read more…)
Earlier this week, we learned that someone’s credit rating was ruined by Rogers Wireless despite never having been a customer. Now we learn that a collection agency contracted by Rogers sent bills to deceased citizens on the company’s behalf, one of whom never even owned a cell phone.
Thank you to Glen Burgess and Jim Karlson for bringing this story to our attention!
From CBC News: