Oh Canada! You’re Still Paying Too Much For Mobile Service

The Canadian government released the findings of a recent study touting their efforts to drive down the cost of mobile services in the country. Government attempts to drive competition and spur innovation in the market have had some impact on driving down prices for consumers, but most Canadians are still paying some of the highest prices in the world.

It’s a fact that even government officials admit is an issue.

“We are pleased to see that prices for cellphone plans for many Canadians have declined,” The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development said in a statement. “At the same time, we have heard concerns from many Canadians who said that prices are still too high. We remain focused on providing high-quality, affordable telecommunications services to all Canadians.”

Michael Geist, a Law Professor & Canada Research Chair in Internet and e-Commerce Law is in a position to know about where Canada stands in mobile pricing and couldn’t help but that the opportunity to write a few “alternative” headlines to the study’s finding on Twitter.

“@ISED_CA release says “Cellphone prices can drop for millions of Canadians,” Geist wrote. Then added these “alternate headlines;”

“Study Finds Canada Among Most Expensive For Every Wireless Service Level” and “Want Unlimited Minutes, SMS & 2 or 5 GB Data? Canada’s Most Expensive.”

And he brought the receipts, underscoring his headlines with charts from the ISED’s own report.

Geist was so fired up, he continued, creating a bit of a tweet storm around the issue.

According to the National Post, Canadians pay more than 32 of the world’s wealthiest nations for mobile data. The Post says service providers are quick to point out the geographic size of the area they cover, but compared to countries like Australia, costs are still astronomical.

Geist in 2013 put the answer simply, “because they can.”

Canadian carriers are protected by regulation from international competition, the Post points out, allowing the major carriers to set prices as they see fit.

It would seems as if all sides of the issue agree: the answer is more competition, not less.


Featured image: Pixabay 




Leave a Reply