Rogers Launches Advocacy Campaign on Spectrum Auction

Rogers has launched a new public advocacy campaign on the forthcoming spectrum auction.  Linking the roll-out of its LTE to the auction, Rogers warns that set-asides for new entrants “would be a recipe for leaving Canada behind the rest of the world, stalling Canadian innovation and limiting who can access LTE.” The website includes a form letter to be emailed to Industry Minister Christian Paradis and the individual’s local MP, asking them to “support a fair and open auction for the 700 spectrum. It’s best for our economy. It’s best for Canada.”

What Rogers doesn’t say is that the last spectrum auction, which featured a set-aside for new entrants, had the effect of bringing new entrants such as Wind Mobile and Mobilicity into the marketplace and reducing the costs of wireless services for all Canadians. It also doesn’t mention that foreign investment restrictions mean the auction is not truly open or that Rogers is sitting on a huge amount of unused spectrum. What Canada really needs is another set-aside combined with the removal of foreign investment restrictions, thereby paving the way for an open market and the entry of deep-pocketed competitors to provide more effective competition for wireless broadband services.

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  1. Irony
    I just used their own form to rat them out for misleading the public on LTE by reframing the debate. I’d encourage you to do the same. Lets see if they block those messages.

    Obviously Canada isn’t going to get anywhere near a competitive marketplace unless the CRTC reserve some spectrum for new entrants.

  2. Nice!
    I did the same as Ian. I rewrote the form to say what I wanted.

  3. These balls bounce …
    It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to come out with bold face ‘truths’ that the public is more and more seeing for what they really are.

    With Dr. Geist and Openmedia having a fairly broad reach nowadays putting out this kind of self serving fluff, I think, can backfire.

    As to their claims, LTE seems to be rolling out just fine in developing countries who have less regulation and more competition.

    So to Rogers I say … suck it up princess.

    *I pulled an Ian too 😉

  4. Maxim Chartrand says:

    I don’t believe that foreign investment and competion with multiple separate network infrastructures would have any positive impact on pricing. For me, the real solution is to build one (1) big open access wireless network covering 100% of Canadians and give to all carriers (smalls and bigs) an equal and fair access to that network. The competition should only be done at the level of services.

  5. Roger’s form letter … umm, a little revised.
    I want to see our country take a massive leap forward with the deployment of LTE wireless technology. I want to see Canadians from coast to coast and in cities, towns and rural areas have access to this technology.

    Therefore, I respectfully urge you to allow free and open access to the 700-megahertz spectrum by allowing ALL COMPANIES to participate in the upcoming auction, NOT excluding any provider would only serve to INCREASE Canadian innovation, IMPROVING our growing and vital digital economy. YOU MUST DO THIS EVEN THOUGH, it MAY adversely impact Canadian ROGER’S STOCKHOLDERS who rely on Rogers for DIVIDENDS.

    LTE will offer us access to truly revolutionary wireless experiences, enriching our lives and growing our economy. Having an open auction will unleash the power of Canadian innovation; a closed auction, NOT ALLOWING NEW COMPETITORS, will erect barriers to national growth.

    For these reasons, I ask you to support a auction for the 700 spectrum THAT’S BEST FOUR OUR ECONOMY and best for Canada.

  6. Maxim Chartrand says:

    Crockett +1

  7. What is the best course of action?
    Should we use their form to send a different message?
    – I see problem with that as officials might not look at the message but just the origin.

    Or should we give it the least possible publicity?
    Or should we give it the most possible negative publicity?

  8. Roger’s considers it’s customers the enemy
    I was so happy when I moved out of a Rogers’ service area, I finally had a provider that respected me.

  9. Careful. What makes you think that the text that gets sent from that form is the rewritten text you wrote? You most likely just sent you explicit support for their cause.

  10. I made a note at the end of my letter requesting a reply to ensure Rogers did not alter or block my message.

    A staffer for my MP, Andrew Cash (NDP Davenport), wrote me back within hours, quoting my original message to confirm it was unmodified.

  11. Well, in all of this at least Rogers let the text and subject line be altered, that’s at least something anyways.

    The CRIA (now music Canada) backed website had an obviously biased but uneditable letter that you HAD to send first if you even wanted to just wanted to register 0_o

  12. @Michael: “What Canada really needs is another set-aside combined with the removal of foreign investment restrictions, thereby paving the way for an open market and the entry of deep-pocketed competitors to provide more effective competition for wireless broadband services.”

    Let’s call it what it is. A “set-aside” is a subvention and you’re proposing that it goes to “deep-pocketed” “foreign investment”.

    Can’t we find any better use for our tax money?


  13. Developer
    I want to see REAL mobile broadband competition in Canada. I want to choose from a multitude of AGGRESSIVELY COMPETING services when shopping for mobile service. I want carriers to have to push the boundaries of service, pricing and customer respect in order to receive their share of the revenue.

    Auction rules favouring the incumbent carriers will not help Canadians. It will help only the coffers of Bell and Rogers to further pilfer the pockets of Canadians. We already pay the highest average price for equivalent mobile services in the world. It is time for that to end.

    Therefore, I respectfully urge you to RESERVE a portion of the 700-megahertz spectrum for new/recent entrants in the marketplace to offer competitive services and pricing to Canadians. Without a reserved block, it is too easy for the current dominant carriers to block out would-be competitors. This does nothing but hurt Canadians.

    LTE will offer us access to truly revolutionary wireless experiences, enriching our lives and growing our economy. But — this will only happen if carriers face the pressure of real competition in the market.

    For these reasons, I ask you to support a fair and open auction, with a RESERVED BLOCK for new entrants, for the 700 spectrum. It’s best for Canadians.

    Thank you,

    This message has been modified from the original form letter presented by Rogers. Please reply with the message quoted so I may be sure it was received as drafted. Thanks.

  14. Un-Trusted Computing says:

    Set asides
    I’d like to see another set-aside for new entrants, seeing as the last spectrum auction brought us a lot of good. Considering our tax dollars go to regulating the market anyways, why not have them go to something that will benefit us…

    Don’t get me wrong I’m for Rogers (and other incumbents) paying back for their usurious practices via overpriced spectrum auctions, but the only cure to said usury is more players, not letting the incumbents outbid everybody else.

  15. Do not use the form
    Do not use the form and rewrite it in protest, first of all rogers sends the original form anyway not the rewrite. And when they calculate their numbers you will be included. They want people to protest on the form.

  16. Not a safe assumption
    It is not safe to assume that competition will drive prices down. Free market idealism is most often a pipe dream.

    Proper and uncompromised regulation the only way to go if we ever hope to have affordable rates.

  17. hi
    [1:40:23 PM] suraj dutta: M Tech Computer

  18. David Waterloo says:

    Rogers Ext plus Waterloo .6 to 1 mbps every night 5pm – 3pm Overselling in Kitchener Waterloo.
    Rogers Extreme Plus, Waterloo, ON – Have had predictably slow Download speeds every night 600 KBPS to 1 MBPS, since 09/18/11. 7 quickly invalidated service tickets, 7 hours on phone, 2 trips to store to swap out two modems at tech supports Request. 12 days of re proving my case to every level of tech support.

    Upload always at 1 mbps every time. Line quality perfect, no noise, every test. Never any latency until 6th hop out of any trace route.
    10/03/11 Diane of Rogers high speed C.A.T. department informs me “your issue is related to a known Rogers network issue, affecting others in your area,is not your equipment. No ETA for solution, No ETA means no ETA!”

    10/06/11 Elizabeth Alvarado Rogers Office of the President, “No details on issue, no ETA for a solution. It isn’t that bad, it’s only affecting 6 out of every 1000 subscribers”

    Thanksgiving holiday weekend, speeds improve to advertised 32 mbps daytime, and 15 mbps Friday and Saturday night. Sunday night down to 8 mbps after 5 pm.

    10/10/11 Still no ETA or explanation of “known Rogers Network issue”.

    One could safely assume most college students (many in my area) and other Thanksgiving travelers are back home and online again.

    Back down to my 3 plus week average speed of 1 mbps and falling, after 5 pm.

    Tek Savvy has been told by Rogers it cannot add any more cable internet subscribers due to congestion in Kitchener – Waterloo, and elsewhere.

    What can I do? Anyone else experiencing less than 2 % of their advertised download speed in Waterloo Ontario?

  19. David Waterloo says:

    Where are the consumer advocates? Where is fair competition?
    If Rogers cannot provide even 10 % of their advertised download speeds for, at their own Elizabeth Alvarado’s admission of at least “6 in every 1000” customers, why on earth would any rational person, group, or government office allow them to monopolize and degrade the quality of Canada’s internet service, and much of it’s future
    , to a much greater degree.

    A re seller of Rogers over taxed and poorly run network is not fair competition.