Well, it looks like Canada's big three telecom s are going to be sleeping easier following the news that Verizon has declared it is not interested in entering the Canadian wireless market after all.
The news follows months of an unsympathetic campaign by Canada's three largest providers - Bell, Rogers and Telus - against Verizon's possible move into the Canadian market, all of which cited "unfair" competition. However, while the "Big Three" were against the potential competitor arriving north of the border, the general public and politicians were excited about what it could have meant for Canadians.
"We've heard from Canadians that they are sick of having money pricegouged out of their pockets then spent on a misleading PR campaign," said OpenMedia.ca executive director Steve Anderson in a release. "We cannot allow the Big Three to continue to block innovative Canadian providers from offering affordable mobile service to Canadians. It is ridiculous that affordable, Canadian providers like Toronto-based Ting are only able to offer their services in the U.S. because they are blocked by the Big Three. The best way to lower cellphone prices and support job creation is to enable innovative Canadian providers like Ting equal access to Canadian infrastructure."
Industry Minister James Moore also had many choice words for the Big Three during their "misleading" campaign.
"I think Canadians know very well what is at stake and they know dishonest attempts to skew debates via misleading campaigns when they see them," he wrote on his website. "Equally, Canadian consumers know instinctively that more competition will serve their families well through better service and lower prices."
Moore has said that he remains committed to increasing competition for Canada's wireless scene.
Currently, the Big Three control about 93 per cent of the Canadian wireless market, leaving only six of the country's 17 providers as actual independent entities. With Verizon's departure from the debate, Canadians are once again stuck with the status quo.
For the unfamiliar, the status quo means Canadians are looking at remaining in the top 10 most expensive countries in the world for the majority of wireless services with some of the highest roaming fees on the planet.
And while it may have been premature for so many to be championing Verizon as the saviour of competition for Canada's wireless scene, the amount of support and interest shown for very notion of another competitor in Canada just shows how desperate we are for any sort of change on the wireless front. Hopefully the Big Three will take that to heart, and come down from their towers to introduce the change that consumers might actually welcome rather than the nickel and diming they're so used to.
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