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PIAC releases backgrounder “Wireless Services in Canada: Why Canadians Deserve Better”

OTTAWA – The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) continues to welcome regulatory initiatives to address competition issues in the wireless market, and has released today a backgrounder “Wireless Services in Canada: Why Canadians Deserve Better” telling consumers’ side of the story.

The Canadian wireless market needs more competition. Despite the measures taken to promote more competition in 2008’s first “Advanced Wireless Services” spectrum auction, which resulted in more competition and lower pricing, more is needed to nurture and sustain this fragile competition so that Canadians can have access to affordable, innovative, competitive wireless service.

Industry Canada, Canada’s wireless spectrum regulator, is in the midst of several wireless spectrum policy consultations. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Canada’s telecommunications regulator, is also in the midst of two important public processes to consider wireless competition at the wholesale level: how large wireless companies can fairly share their infrastructure and spectrum.

“The CRTC and Industry Canada are doing the right thing in wireless” said John Lawford, PIAC’s Executive Director and General Counsel. “It takes time to change the wireless game in Canada.”

In support of telling the consumer side of the story, PIAC today released a backgrounder on how Canadians have been faring with their wireless service providers (link below) in recent years.

“When the conversation is about what can be done to improve wireless service for Canadians, too often the incumbent response is that there is no problem to solve, and that Canadians are actually doing well,” said Geoffrey White, Counsel to PIAC. “The evidence from the regulators, and from Canadians, doesn’t seem to support that. It is a disservice to Canadians to suggest that more competition cannot be achieved, and that what Canadians receive is as good as it can be.”

PIAC is a non-profit organization that provides legal and research services on behalf of consumer interests, and, in particular, vulnerable consumer interests, concerning the provision of important public services.

Link to PIAC Backgrounder “Wireless Services in Canada: Why Canadians Deserve Better” [pdf file: 0.31mb]

For more information:

John Lawford
General Counsel and Executive Director
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
(613) 562-4002×25
(613) 447-8125 (cell)
jlawford@piac.ca

Geoffrey White
Counsel to PIAC
(613) 612-1190
gwhite@piac.ca

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