This is in response to MP Ron Cannan's good-news message in The Daily Courier on Feb. 12 about cellphone billing practices and wireless contracts. He encourages those of us who are dissatisfied to contact and participate in CRTC review of how telecommunications companies operate in Canada.
About two years ago, I wrote about the uncontrolled power and monopoly of cellphone companies, and I also pointed out the reasonable price I noticed in Great Britain and France, while Canadians are being strangulated.
The Canadian wireless market is hopelessly behind the rest of the world with limited competition, higher prices and less choice. The Conservative government is 100 per cent responsible. Now, Cannan wants us to bark at CRTC.
In my research, I discovered how the impact of uncompetitive pricing in Canada is felt beyond the consumer market. A few years ago, the World Economic Forum pointed to problems in the wireless market as a key reason for Canada's slipping global ranking for "network readiness" (Canada had moved from sixth worldwide in 2005 to 13th in 2008).
Canada was ranked 75th in the number of mobile subscribers, trailing countries such as El Salvador, Kazahkstan, and Libya. It also lags behind countries such as the U.K., Singapore, Italy, Sweden, and Norway on mobile pricing.
Is Cannan is actually surprised complaints about wireless companies have topped the list of grievances filed with the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommuni-cations Services for the past four years?
Experts who are fighting on behalf of captive Canadian users of wireless services strongly urge the Canadian government to focus on removing barriers of entry as opposed to meddling with free markets by over-regulating every single aspect of telecommunication.
Who would not love to see Bell Mobility, Rogers and alike to be squeezed by more innovative U.S., Asian and European competitors?