Last month, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains took his most significant policy step to date to address telecommunications concerns by issuing a proposed policy direction to the CRTC based on competition, affordability, consumer interests, and innovation. As I noted at the time, the proposed policy direction will make a difference as those perspectives will become a more prominent part of the regulatory process that cannot be easily dismissed.
The comment period on the proposed policy direction closes next Monday (April 8th), offering the opportunity for Canadians to signal their support for a policy measure designed to make wireless services more competitive and affordable. I discussed the issue in this post and in my podcast with TekSavvy executive Andy Kaplan-Myrth. Both Open Media and TekSavvy have launched sites that make it easy to provide the government with comments. A Telus executive recently likened the Open Media effort to “yellow vesting”, an inflammatory comparison that suggests that the incumbent wireless companies will launch a full scale lobbying campaign against the measure, reminiscent of their 2013 effort to keep Verizon from entering the Canadian market where the companies were placed on an “immediate war footing.”
Given the longstanding need for a more competitive wireless market, the Bains measure deserves public support. Those concerned with the wireless market should take the time to read the policy direction and provide the government with their views before the deadline by writing directly or using the Open Media and TekSavvy participation websites.