Some of the highest rates in the world. That must upset you. We know it upsets us.
Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Canadians pay among the highest, if not the highest, cellular phone rates in the developed world. Our guess is that you have heard this before, many times.
Are you tired of hearing this and, even worse, paying those rates? We know that we are.
Here we go again with yet another oligopoly in Canada brought about by unparalleled protectionism.
This time it’s the Big Three cellular phone service providers (as opposed to the Big Six banks, and the Big Two airlines). The Big Three are one part of the telecommunications industry in Canada that also includes things like cable television and landline telephones.
While television rates may have dropped slightly because of the explosion of streaming services in Canada, no such competition exists in the cellular phone industry. Governments know this and, believe it or not, have even made some half-hearted attempts to force competition, but these attempts have never resulted in any long-term benefits to Canadians in the form of lower prices.
To evade government attempts at reforming the industry, the Big Three simply buy the upstarts or force them out of business and our leaders lack the will to really push the matter on behalf of Canadians.
Even worse, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which is supposed to look out for our interests, has never really pushed the issue in our favour either.
So, what can we do?
Well, we can start by expecting more. Once we have made that shift in our thinking, and we realize that we deserve more, then we can get together and demand more.
Connect with other Canadians, and demand more from your elected officials, who are the only ones with the power to force the changes we want.
As with all oligopolies, the only solution is for the government to take decisive action wherever it is needed to ensure the desired end result of lower prices. It really isn’t any more complicated than that.
To be fair, the solution itself might be complicated, and it will certainly require strong leadership, but in the end as with all the other issues we discuss on this site, it is up to the governments to figure this out, not us. They are the ones we elect to do just that.
Ultimately, it is your responsibility to tell the elected officials what you want. It is their responsibility to make it happen. Assuming, of course, they want to get re-elected.