For the past few years, there has been a lively debate on the state of the Canadian wireless marketplace.
Consumer advocates and others have argued that Canadian market is not
sufficiently competitive and that aggressive policy action is needed to
foster greater competition and to adequately protect consumers until
market forces can be fully relied upon. The incumbent telecom
companies and the CWTA present a far different story, contesting
multiple international studies and painting Canada as a market leader.
The events of this week - the introduction of a CRTC consumer wireless code and the Industry Canada decision
to uphold its set-aside spectrum policy by killing the Telus -
Mobilicity deal - point to the fact that this debate is now over in the
minds of the government. Government telecom policy in 2006 was focused
on deregulation and a hands-off, industry-led approach. Those days are
long gone as the government has now adopted a consumer-focused, populist
approach premised on the view that a public fight with the telecom
companies is a political winner.
Moreover, the government may have shifted, but the incumbent providers
clearly have not, failing to adapt to the new policy terrain.
TagsShareWednesday June 05, 2013