Reports over weekend suggest government is poised to allow Rogers and Telus to acquire Mobilicity’s valuable wireless spectrum, despite promises it would be set aside for affordable, independent providers
June 22, 2015: Mobilicity’s employees and founder are calling for government action to ensure their business can continue as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), even if their valuable wireless spectrum is acquired by other operators. Community-backed OpenMedia, which is running a sustained campaign for lower wireless prices, insists any deal must ensure that Canadians’ wireless choices are not further reduced.
The call comes following media reports over the weekend that the government is preparing to allow Rogers and Telus to acquire Mobilicity’s spectrum, despite previous promises that it would be kept out of the Big Three’s hands. Reacting to today’s call from Mobilicity employees, OpenMedia Campaigns Manager Josh Tabish had this to say:
“Ensuring that affordable providers like Mobilicity can continue to offer services is important for Canadians, who for years have been paying some of the highest prices in the industrialized world. Canadians would be disappointed to see Mobilicity’s spectrum handed back to the Big Three given the government’s repeated promises to lower prices and improve choice.”
Official report finds that wireless prices are still rising steeply, and that overall telecom costs are among the most expensive in the industrialized world
June 18, 2015 – A major government report released this morning confirms that Canadians are still paying among the highest prices in the industrialized world for telecom service. The 2015 Wall Report, commissioned by the CRTC and Industry Canada, found that wireless prices are increasing across the board, with the cost of a standard 1GB monthly plan increasing by 7%, or over three times the rate of inflation (2.3%).
The report also found that new entrants, like Wind Mobile, offer rates that are 26-50% cheaper than the Big Three incumbents (Bell, Rogers, and Telus), and shows that broadband prices, especially for speeds over 15 Mbps, “are at the high end of the group of surveyed countries”, with a standard 16-40 Mbps service costing 64% more in Canada than in the U.K.
OpenMedia’s Campaigns Manager Josh Tabish had this to say: “Most Canadian cell phone users don’t need an official report to know that the cost of cell phone service is painfully high - they just need to look at their monthly bills. These high prices are the result of years of regulatory coddling of our unaccountable telecom giants. They are an unacceptable burden on Canadian families and the Canadian economy.”
OpenMedia launching renewed campaign at KillC51.ca as focus shifts to political arena, with commitment to kill the reckless and unpopular legislation set to become a decisive factor in October’s election
June 9, 2015: The fight against Bill C-51 will continue until the deeply unpopular legislation is repealed. That’s according to OpenMedia, which is helping lead a 240,000-strong campaign against the Bill, which the government has just forced through the Senate 44-28 in the final vote on the bill. The community-backed group is today launching a renewed campaign at KillC51.ca calling on leaders of all political parties to make a clear commitment to kill Bill C-51 as part of their election platform.
OpenMedia has worked with residents across Canada and a diverse range of organizations to host the #StopC51 campaign up until now. The Conservatives used their large Senate majority to cut short debate and ram the Bill through moments ago. Most Liberal senators took a principled stand against the Bill, despite the fact that their party leader and MPs supported the legislation, sparking outrage from Liberal grassroots. The NDP and the Green Party have already promised to completely repeal Bill C-51 if elected.
Code contains significant customer protections for mobile phone and Internet users, including an end to 3-year contracts, and caps on roaming charges for data
June 3, 2015 – Beginning today, between 2 and 4 million Canadian mobile phone customers trapped in three year contracts will be able to cancel their agreement without penalty if their agreements have run 24 months or more under the CRTC’s Wireless Code of Conduct. Community-backed group OpenMedia, who worked with tens of thousands of Canadians to shape the rules, has dubbed today “Cell Phone Freedom Day”.
Today’s measures ensure all Canadians enjoy the benefits of the code’s customer protections, and will create millions of “free agents” now able to move between providers, or renegotiate with their current providers. Beyond ending three year contracts, other protections include caps on roaming charges both at home and abroad, the right to unlock your device, and the option to return your phone within 15 days of purchase without penalty.
Letter signed by National Firearms Association, Free Dominion and nearly 100 other groups and individuals from the “conservative and libertarian side of the political spectrum”
June 2, 2015 – A group of prominent Canadian conservatives and libertarians are speaking out about how the government’s Bill C-51 will create “a long gun registry on steroids”, by enabling the government to “create databases on all Canadians without oversight”. In a joint letter to Stephen Harper, the group warns Bill C-51 will create an army of “civil service bureaucrats operating covertly without oversight, regulation or accountability.”
Dozens of conservatives and libertarians have signed the letter, including the National Firearms Association, Free Dominion, and National Post columnist Jesse Kline. The letter was facilitated by OpenMedia, a community-based group helping lead a 235,000-strong campaign against Bill C-51 that’s become one of the largest campaigns in Canadian history.
As of June 3, all Canadians, including those who are currently stuck in three year contracts, will be able to benefit from the Code's protections. For example, customers who entered into a 3 year term commitment on June 3, 2013, would have the option of ending their term agreements, without penalty.