The Liberal cabinet has promised to cut cell phone bills for Canadians by 25 percent, which according to CRTC would potentially save Canadians anywhere from $11 to $25 monthly, first reported by Blacklock’s Reporter.
The Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission released a report that the average Canadian spends about $101 a month on the cell phone plans. The agency released a report entitled, Communications Monitoring Report 2019 found that the average cost is $50.25 a month for a basic 5G plan with higher rates in rural areas.
“Larger households may have higher expenditures for these services, e.g. purchasing more internet data,” wrote the Commission: “The data presented here does not allow for analysis of individual expenditures on communications services.”
“Canadians shouldn’t have to choose between having a cellphone and heating their homes,” said Trudeau, one of his main campaign promises last year was to lower cell phone bills by 25 percent.
“As Canadians we pay some of the highest prices in the world for cellphone services while Canadian telecom companies are among the most profitable in the developed world,” the Liberal Party stated in their platform Forward: A Real Plan For The Middle Class. “To help lower monthly cellphone bills and bring costs in line with what people pay in other countries, we will move forward with cutting the cost of these services by 25 percent in the next two years using the government’s regulatory powers.”
During their Throne Speech on December 5, the cabinet repeated their pledge to lower cell phone costs for Canadians. On December 13, they sent a Mandate Letter to the Department of Industry demanding the rates drop by 2021. “If within two years this price is not achieved, you can expand the mobile network operators’ qualifying rules as the CRTC mandate on affordable pricing,” read the letter.
At the communications committee in 2018 Members of the Senate expressed their dissatisfaction with the CRTC’s ability to advocate on behalf of consumers. “Like a lot of Canadians, I’m very frustrated with telecommunications in this country,” said Conservative Senator Michael MacDonald. “It’s outrageously expensive for data. It’s basically a cartel, let’s face it. It’s a small oligarchy.
“I’m not convinced the CRTC has the fortitude to take on these cartels and the consumers are losing because of it,” said MacDonald. “What’s the solution, besides going to the CRTC? Is it relevant anymore in terms of serving the public interest? I’m convinced it is not serving the public interest.”
The Post Millennial reported late last year that many Canadians are now finding loopholes to get comparable American phone plans that cost a third of the price and don’t charge for roaming or long distant calling in North America.