Canada’s telecom companies are on a public relations rampage of late, with Bell, Rogers and Telus presenting a united front across national media in trying to convince the federal government to abandon its plan to bring U.S. wireless giant Verizon into the market. One of the blitz’s big talking points is how much the companies are investing in Canada, both in wireless and other services. Telus, for one, says it has invested $100 billion since 2000, and that the industry as a whole has spent $420 billion. Of course, as a company spokesman confirmed, that figure includes the cost of labour and supplies, meaning that every-day expenses such as paperclips and envelopes are being counted.
If the companies really were spending that kind of money in meaningful ways, Canadians would literally be hemorrhaging bandwidth everywhere they turned. South Korea who?
The latest Communications Outlook from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development points out just how overcooked the claims are. While the report certainly does show that Canadian companies companies are investing a decent amount in actual telecommunications - they collectively spent the fourth most among member countries in 2011 - it seems like Canadians should have more to show for it, especially on the wired broadband side, which is where most that spending has happened. Read the rest of this entry »