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    New Cellphone Cost Calculator Launches

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    Tuesday November 03, 2009
    Cellphone Rate Calculator is a new website that has launched to replace the cancelled government cellphone cost calculator.
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    $1,400,000.00

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    Thursday September 10, 2009
    The CBC reports that Industry Canada spent $1.4 million on the cell phone cost calculator that was scrapped due technical limitations/lobby pressure. I first covered the cancellation in a column last week.
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    Reaction to the Cellphone Cost Calculator Story

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    Tuesday September 01, 2009
    My column on the decision to kill the cellphone cost calculator generated considerable reaction: 
    • The Liberal party issued a press release criticizing the decision and arguing that it placed the wireless industry ahead of consumers. 
    • The CBC covered the story, including comments from the CWTA, PIAC, and Bell (it should be noted that Bell indicates that it did not meet with officials specifically on the cellphone calculator but rather left the issue to the CWTA).
    • Catherine Middleton points out the FCC is asking questions about similar consumer disclosures and cost comparisons.
    • Readers have pointed to two other private comparison sites - cellphones.ca and cellplanexpert.ca.
    Update: The CWTA has just released a new code of conduct that promises that customers will be better informed when making purchases.
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    How Telco Lobbying Helped Quietly Kill Consumer Cell Phone Cost Calculator

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    Monday August 31, 2009
    Last week I discussed the well-known challenge faced by millions of Canadians as they sort through a myriad of cellphone pricing plans in a marketplace still lacking in robust competition.  The subject of this week's technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) is that previously unreported, however, is Industry Canada officials identified much the same problem and worked for years to develop an online tool to address it.

    After spending tens of thousands of dollars creating and testing an online calculator designed to help consumers select their ideal wireless plan, Industry Minister Tony Clement killed the project weeks before it was scheduled to launch. Government records suggest intense lobbying this spring by Canada’s wireless companies, who feared the service would promote lower cost plans, played a key role in the decision.


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