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Michael Geist's Blog

Telus: Canada Should Be the Most Expensive Wireless Country in the OECD

Telus has responded to my post on the 2013 OECD Communications Outlook, which ranked Canada among the most expensive countries in the OECD for wireless services in virtually every category, with its own post claiming that Canadians should be celebrating our relatively high prices. The post notes the investment that Telus and other companies have made in Canada (Peter Nowak explains the reason behind much of that investment) and argues that:

When you consider our enormous investment, challenging geography, sparse population and outstanding networks Canada really SHOULD be the most expensive country for wireless service in the OECD, but we’re not. That’s a great success story we should be celebrating.

It is a testament to how out-of-touch Canada's incumbent wireless providers have become that they think Canadians should be celebrating the fact that we are not the single most expensive wireless country in the developed economy world.  Telus says that scratching below the surface of the OECD report will lead people to conclude that Canadians pay about the same as other developed countries. Yet in its own chart, Canada ranks among the more expensive countries within the G7 in every category but one.


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OECD Report Confirms What Canadians Have Long Suspected: Wireless Pricing Among Highest in the World

The OECD last week released the 2013 Communications Outlook, a major international report issued once every two years with detailed comparative data on telecommunications throughout the developed economy world. Telus jumped on the report by posting its own release claiming that it "once again confirms that Canadian wireless pricing is extremely competitive internationally." Notwithstanding those sunny comments, those that take the time to read the report (which must be purchased or accessed via an institutional subscription) will find that the reality is that the OECD reports that Canada is one of the most expensive countries for wireless services in the world. In fact, the OECD finds that not only do Canadian wireless services rank poorly when compared to the rest of the OECD, but so too do broadband Internet services (I'll focus on broadband in a later post).

These wireless price rankings run from cheapest (1st) to most expensive (34th). Canada ranks among the most ten most expensive countries within the OECD in virtually every category and among the three most expensive countries for several standard data only plans.


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Supreme Court of Canada To Hear Appeal of Warrantless Cellphone Search Case

The Supreme Court of Canada has granted leave to appeal in the Fearon case, which involved an Ontario Court of Appeal decision permitting a police search of a cellphone that was not password protected or locked during the course of an arrest. I referenced the case in a brief post earlier this year.

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Japan Considering Copyright Term Extension, Canada Next?

The Japanese government is reportedly considering extending its term of copyright protection from the international standard of life plus 50 years to life plus 70 years as required by drafts of the Trans Pacific Partnership. The issue seems likely to similarly arise in Canada, which also maintains a life plus 50 years approach.

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