On Tuesday, Telus’s director of broadband policy Craig McTaggart published a detailed 42-page rebuttal to some recent criticisms of the Canadian wireless industry, including a posting from University of Ottawa professor Michael Geist, an Open Media report and a pair of blog posts I wrote. I’ll let those parties speak on their own behalves, but the Telus report does misrepresent some of my observations, which is something I think I need to address.
In the first instance, McTaggart’s rebuttal is titled “Why do Canada’s wireless critics want to turn back time?” I’m not sure if I’m included in that question, but I certainly wouldn’t want anything of the sort to happen. There’s no question Canadian wireless customers have it better today than a few years ago; system access fees have been scrapped, all of the major carriers are offering top-notch phones, the price of data isn’t in the thousands of dollars (unless you happen to forget to turn off roaming) and most Canadians have more service providers to choose from. Those are all positive developments.
That said, the market still has many issues. One of the biggest is when the industry pretends it doesn’t, which was the conclusion of a recent report from Scotia Capital. That report, which kicked off this debate once again, urged the government and regulators to consider their previous interferences with the market to be a success because prices are good and lower than in the United States. Read the rest of this entry »