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Industry Canada creates “MoreChoices” site about wireless in Canada, says “Our work is not done”

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 9.15.13 PM

The battle continues.

James Moore, Minister of Industry, has once again stressed that the government is “standing up for Canadian consumers.” Over the past several weeks there has been a big PR battle between the Big 3 carriers and the Conservative government. Both sides are informing Canadians their viewpoint on what they believe is ‘Fair for Canada’ and best for the future of wireless our country.

While the carriers want various loopholes closed that would allow a bigger foreign player enter the Canadian wireless space – namely US based Verizon Wireless. The Big 3 have stated several times that they’re not opposed to competition, but that they want a ‘level playing field’ and believe any flexibility the government gives an outside company “will have massive consequences for Canadians.”

Moore and his team have crafted a dedicated site called ‘MoreChoices‘ – this redirects to a page on the Industry Canada site and houses a bunch of facts, quotes and ‘tools’ for Canadians to make informed choices of their wireless needs. The government has also provided a timeline that shows their continued support to bring “More choice. Lower prices. Better service” to wireless in Canada. The site also shows how to “cut through the noise” and defends their work against what the the Big 3 carriers currently state.

“Our work is not done.”

Finally, the site boldly declares “Our work is not done. The upcoming auctions are an opportunity to build on our success and provide Canadians with more choice. Because more choice means lower prices and better service.”

There’s one thing we’re finding out about this entire saga: James Moore is dramatically different than past Industry Minister Christian Paradis. Moore means business.

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  • HelloCDN

    It’s awesome, but it only appeals to educated folks… The masses will see the BS of big 3, and are too dumb to understand the arguments on the government’s website. Unfortunately….

    • Jason

      Yay Conservatives! Go Harper Go Harper GO GO!!!!

    • Dan

      Yup, doing anything for us citizens is a waste of money. They should just eliminate all press conferences, all sorts of communication with us because that’s just a waste of money. I would say unappreciative people like you are the real crooks, people who will complain about every move the government takes regardless of facts.

    • Who Needs Facts

      Think about this. If this is such a good idea, why is the government now on its second website trying to sell it?

      The policy is flawed and people are pissed off and letting them know.

      They are looking desperate at this point, not like they are “meaning business”.

    • HelloCDN

      Public Communication about changes and response to those opposing it is all part of it. Otherwise, people will end up not knowing anything,

    • Fawoo

      Oh yes, they spent millions of taxpayer money just to create a website.

      Oh, nevermind it’s just a simple website so it barely made a scratch on taxpayer money.

      Also creating a policy, implementing it, and moving on goes against most rights as a Canadian. We need to agree (majority at the very least) on a policy, implement it through vote, and then it’ll take some time before it actually kicks into effect. Having the government just create a policy willy-nilly and implement it would also give them further rights to implement whatever other policies they like, and that’s absolutely ridiculous.

      Think things through before you comment, if you think the Conservatives are crooks why would you give them power to implement a policy without any input from Canadians?

    • realitycheck

      not everything should be left up to the public to vote on. BC should know *cough* HST….

    • Edward

      no offense, but your reply really make me think you are hired by big 3 to post in the public to lead the discussions.

      It’s just my own opinion…

    • Who Needs Facts

      Edward.

      As someone who apparently agrees with the Industry Canada on this issue it is my opinion you work for the government and are paid to promote Mr. Moores ill advised policy.

    • It’s Me

      You wish. Don’t you miss the days when the carriers could pick your pocket with no concern? Yeah, much better for the government to leave the collusive and abusive status quo in place. What’s the gov thinking, taking sides with Canadians instead of big, lazy canadian corporations.

    • Who Needs Facts

      So I take they have won your vote?

    • It’s Me

      There are lots of issues in an election. I like their direction here but there will be other things to look at too. But their position here of not cowering before the big media companies does make them look good.

    • Who Needs Facts

      I agree. Their ability to use this issue to make the senate issue and prorogue of parliament disappear off the media’s map does make them look good.

      And though the telcos have not said a word in over two weeks, Moore makes sure this stays front and centre.

      Harper is no dummy for sure.

    • Super_Deluxe

      They may as well merge the big 3 into one carrier and call themselves Robellus since everything they do and offer is pretty much identical. And their slogan would be “Proudly ripping off Canadians since the days of the Great Depression.”

    • It’s Me

      They might as well. They waste everyone’s time pretending to compete. Since we have no real competition it is effectively one carrier today.

  • MapleHoney

    Like I said before, our cellphones price is important. But there are way more important things our government can do to save us more money. Our gas price, hydro bill, transit cost, insurance, medical, and etc are way more costly than our monthly cell invoices.

    Someone mentioned already. If the Conservatives is so stressed and “care” about our wireless prices, they would have implement law or policy already. All they are doing right now is for Canadians to “love” them and vote for them. Sorry but it doesn’t work on some people.

    • $62630665

      This is sure fire way that the conservatives are buying votes! Politics 101! Please the people… What a bunch of criminals. Funny thing is the CRTC has dictated these rules for the wireless industry for once fifteen years and now they have a change of heart because the government kickbacks have now stopped? Oh wait did I let the cat out of the bag? Big 3 complaints or not, the very rules that the government put in place are now the reason for crap like this…. Fools gold

    • It’s Me

      Good weed?

    • $62630665

      So you reply with a stupid comeback and you can’t bother to use your real name…? Are you on the weed?

    • It’s Me

      There really wasn’t much to reply to. While your post was good for a laugh, it was a rambling mess that really didn’t say anything.

    • $62630665

      In other related news, Verizon has no interest in mobilicity, Vodafone, and wind. Hmm maybe that spectrum auction will be a no show for them as well… Pick up the phone a complain to your provider about your rates… Haha

    • It’s Me

      Maybe. Better hope so for the carrier employees. McDonald’s can only absorb so many carrier layoffs.

    • Who Needs Facts

      Hello It’s me.

      I’ll give you a softball to hit.

      What does Verizon tell their American customers when they release plans in Canada that are cheaper than stateside?

      This one has puzzled me from the start.

    • It’s Me

      Why would they owe any explanation to their US customers? Different country, different network, different business. Other than a common owner they’d be two completely separate businesses. Did vimplecom have to explain their Canadian to their Russian customers? Does TMobile explain their European pricing to their US customers?

    • Who Needs Facts

      Vimplecom (the majority of Vimplecom customers would not know who Orasocom or Wind even are) or T-Mobile are not setting up business here.

      I am talking Verizon in the US and Canada. Apples and oranges. The whole idea is Verizon is going to lower prices. I just want to know how.

      A look at Verizon’s US webpage shows me they pay the same as us.

      If they price lower in Canada, I would like to know how buddy in Seattle is going to react. Or Detroit or New York.

      Let put is this way. If Telus was to open up shop in Seattle and offered the same service at say 25% less, would Telus subs be up in arms? I think so.

    • It’s Me

      Same service? It wouldn’t be the same service. If Telus opened up in Seattle and their services was only good in most of Seattle and a couple other cities, them no I don’t think their Canadian customers would be mad.

    • Who Needs Facts

      If an incumbent started selling a plan in the states for $50 while the exact same plan here was selling for $75 people would scream murder.

      They are already out for blood because they (wrongly) think that Verizon is cheaper than the incumbents.

      It will be no different no different if the tables are turned.

    • It’s Me

      Apples and oranges. If that $50 plan was only good in a small handful of cities and only in parts of those cities, then no, no one would be screaming in Canada about a less than regional plan in the US being cheaper.

    • Hungrier

      Luckily we don’t have to think about hypotheticals like that, as they’re doing exactly that in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

    • skullan

      They have my vote.

    • skullan

      Gotta start somewhere. Reviews about cellphone costs are already underway, if you want to save taxpayers money, don’t disrupt the process they are taking as they will have to just pay more later to pick up and continue with it.

    • lol

      Agree!!! I can live without mobile data servie to lower my cellphone bill. But cost of living is a necessity that people can’t live without. but the government is not doing anything about that.

      instead of spending all those money trying to make people think they are doing something useless, why don’t they use those money towards proper school education instead.

  • Dave

    Next election I’m voting conservative no matter what.

    • FiveOD

      They may be massively corrupt, slashing environmental regulations and science funding, wasting millions on ad campaigns telling us how good a job they are doing of taking care of the economy, loosening restrictions on the temporary foreign worker program, going all in on the unstable oil and gas industry, but gosh darn it they sure do want to allow Verizon to enter Canada as if that will magically fix all problems with cell phone bills. Vote Conservative!

    • Dave

      I’m voting for the less bad party, not looking for a perfect one cause there’s no such a thing.

  • Sweet

    “… James Moore is dramatically different than past Industry Minister Christian Paradis. Moore means business.”

    It was Paradis who went to Mobile World Congress 2013 this past February to encourage foreign companies to invest in the Canadian wireless industry, in particular, the new entrants like Wind and Mobilicity. So, I wouldn’t dismiss him as not meaning business.

    • Who Needs Facts

      James Moore feels this whole thing slipping from his grasp. You do not throw up websites and go on cross country tours selling your position unless you are afraid.

      People (despite what you read in these forums) are not as shallow as “screw Bell” and “die Telus”. Millions of people (in fact every one that has posted on this forum) has money invested in the telcos and they stand to lose a big chunk of it for nothing more that vote grabbing.

      I would guess the latest salvo was the seniors coalition letting Mr. Harper know exactly how their five million votes are acting in the next election.

      You do not see the behind the scenes actions, but you do see the governments reactions.

      Funny as hell actually.

    • Sweet

      By investment, I assume you’re talking about the Canada Pension Plan. The CPP has $306M invested in the Big 3, which works out to $9.16 per person living in Canada, and even less when you consider ex-pats who are eligible for CPP benefits. That’s not a big chunk.

    • Who Needs Facts

      It is not the dollar figure, it is the principle. Most have no clue that if they are working, they are buying shares, regardless of how small the amount, in the incumbents.

      If the telcos lose 25% in value with the entrance of Verizon, then the CPP loses 25% of its investment in the incumbents. That actually is a big chunk regardless of how you break it down to the individual.

    • Sweet

      That 25% loss is far less than what people would save on their wireless bill, and would work out to $2.29 per person living in Canada.

      Secondly, a drop in stock price would be a result of a drop in the Big 3′s revenue, which would also occur if the Big 3 lowered their prices even with no additional competition.

    • Who Needs Facts

      Ok so we disagree that $90 Million is or is not, a “big chunk”. I wont argue the numbers but for starters, not everyone in Canada is paying in to, nor drawing from CPP. As I said, it is the principle as far as I am concerned. To be honest, the CPP has so little invested in Canada it is laughable.

      I don’t get the tie in between stock price and revenue.

      A loss of revenue could lower investor confidence and hence, the stock price, but I do not see the tie in the other way around.

      The Big threes market evaluation (share price) has dropped $14 Billion dollars in the past month whereas their revenue has not changed a nickel.

    • Sweet

      The CPP value applies to everyone who is, or will, receive CPP benefits. So we can’t just consider those who pay into CPP or draw from CPP now.

      The stock price is based on the value of the company. The value of the company is based in part on its revenue. If a company’s revenue drops, then it becomes less valuable, assuming all else remains unchanged. Because the company has become less valuable, its stock price will drop. The same thing will happen if their profit margin drops.

      The problem the Big 3 have now is that their stock price is based on revenue that’s a result of their oligopoly, which generally leads to higher prices and thus revenue. Once competition enters the market, the members of the oligopoly will usually either lose significant market share and/or lower prices, both of which, lead to a drop in revenue and thus company value, which ultimately leads to lower stock prices.

      Now, investors could, and these days do, sell off their shares in a company before the company starts seeing lower revenue and/or profit, so they can sell their shares at a higher price than they would if they wait until the company announces that they’ve experienced a drop in revenue — they want to beat everyone to the punch before the stock goes down too much. That’s what’s happening to the stock prices of the Big 3.

    • Who Needs Facts

      Well – if you are basing CPP then on say a one year old who will have the benefit of 60 years of investing that $9.16, then I think the 25% loss is again, quite a chunk.

      I misread “a drop in stock price would be a result of a drop in the Big 3′s revenue”, my mistake and I understand what you are telling me and agree.

      I agree a fourth competitor that can offer the same services would cut into their revenue, but I do not think they will let it hit their bottom line in such a manner that stock prices will decline much further than the initial drop in June or so.

      Though earnings will be down, they will cut spending and jobs to achieve the same bottom line. Bell and Telus will likely become as close as legally possible to save capex and as they have been saying, unless the governments pony up for the rural builds, they will not happen.

    • Sweet

      “… I do not think they will let it hit their bottom line in such a manner that stock prices will decline much further than the initial drop in June or so.”

      Agreed.

      The stock drop so far has been IMO partly based on doom-and-gloom predictions. I don’t see how they can say what a fair stock price is now, given that they have no idea how much the companies will lose if a formidable competitor enters the market.

  • WhoCares1000

    The 700 MHz spectrum is the beachfront of spectrum. It’s going to pull in top dollar for Industry Canada (IC). There is a reason they are trying to “educate” the populous. On the other had the Big Three (B3) know it’s going to cost a fortune and want the least number of players to keep the cost down.

    The outcome I see, B3 pay too much, plans get worse and cost slightly higher (pay more and more taxes for plans). IC racks in big dollars and Conservative use this money to pay down the debt they created.

    In the end Canadians don’t win, period and I don’t know what the right scenario is.

  • ABCONMan

    CONS don’t do things like this unless it affects their poll numbers, which it hasn’t, or if it’ll give someone a plum position post Government.

    If the CONS really cared about you, there’d already be sound policy, and they’d be going after the real crooks – the oil industry.

    I guess they know where their paycheque really comes from.

    Suckers!

    • Who Needs Facts

      This is all about votes. Not a thing more. A very expensive election campaign being ran by Mr. Harper on the publics dime.

  • ABCONMan

    Those prices on the Verizon website – pure awesome!

    Go price one out for yourself.

    Suckers!

    • WhoCares1000

      Verizon Share Everything Plan with 1 smartphone for unlimited Talk and Text plus 2GB data is $100 in comparison, Bell is $85 (promo). Given that Bell is usually 1GB @ $85, Verizon is $90 for the same 1GB plan. Prepaid on Verizon does not include LTE service access, only access to CDMA.

      I love how people think Verizon is going to drop prices in Canada. Look at Target, Target Canada sales are down in because they did nothing except keep the prices the same as Zellers on the bread and butter items. Verizon will not come to Canada unless they can get the most profit as possible and uses those profits in the US.

  • lol

    For those that keeps on bashing the Canadian providers. I hope you guys wouldn’t complain about poor coverage/signals down the road. Because you are the ones who agree that they should not get the spectrum blocks to improve it. lol.
    More choices, doesn’t mean lower cost, and sure doesn’t mean better services. Take the Gas Stations as an example.

    And I totally agreeing with MapleHoney’s comment. There are other cost of living issues that the governmet is not doing anything about it.

    Trainsit, hydro, electrical, gas, fuel, FOOD!, insurance, and etc.

    Smartphones are leaisure items where I can live without mobile data service if it means to have a cheaper cell phone bill.

    But cost of living is a NECESSITY where you can not live without!!!

    Why don’t people just shut up about cell phone bill cost and compain about cost of living incease instead!!!

    Instead of spending all those money on ads. Why don’t they spend those money on proper school education instead.

    I would not vote for a gov that wastes taxpayer’s money like that.

  • riz

    I don’t get why people keep bringing up jobs. How do we lose jobs if outside company operates here. If it means laying off some people from BIG3 that are dead weight then they should have been fired long ago instead of happily taking my money!

    • Who Needs Facts

      Dead weight that shopped at your stores and paid taxes so that many here could maintain the quality of life they enjoy on EI.

  • Bodhi20

    poor babies, years and years with little competition and basically a monopoly must be tough to deal with. Can’t have them lose a couple million dollars, that’d break my heart.

  • Prickly

    Having us all on Verizon will make it easier for the NSA to keep an eye on us rebellious canucks ;)

  • Who Needs Facts

    Moore is a desperate fool. People are seeing through his lack of business fundamentals and see this for what it is; a vote grab.

    The people are speaking and in typical Conservative fashion, they will shove their, once again wrong, political agenda and even worse economic agenda down our throats.

    You have been gouged Canada but it was not by the big three. And the best part is, you know it but don’t care. Harper is rubbing his hands with glee.

  • Who Needs Facts

    “The Government has taken action and new competitors have emerged. Canadians now have more choice. Prices have fallen by almost 20% and jobs in the wireless industry have increased by 25%.”

    So lets screw it all up by wining and dining Verizon to come in and take over one or two of the companies that caused the 20% drop in prices and 25% increase in jobs.

    You cant have it both ways. In one paragraph you complain about “the highest prices in the world” but in the next you extoll how wonderful of a job you are doing lowering prices.

    You claim all these new jobs but entice a company whose market presence will eliminate all of them.

    • Thr1ve

      I’d love to see the stats that show this supposed 20% price reduction from the big 3, I’m pretty certain that 2 years ago, I could get a voice + 500MB data plan for under $50, now we’re lucky to have plans under $75. Sorry, but adding minutes, texting, voicemail, caller ID and such that other carriers around the world offer for FREE, is not a price reduction, especially when those extra features costs them pretty much nothing… Not to mention, the recent insane price hikes after the switch from 3 year contracts to 2 year contracts that most i****s were fighting for… What? Did you all expect that they’d make the switch without changing their pricing?

      I cannot see how they’ve lowered pricing, and certainly not by 20%… If anything, prices have gone up.

  • Who Needs Facts

    ” We have set strong rural requirements—the first of their kind in Canada—that will apply to those companies best positioned to deploy in rural areas.”

    I’m not sure what “best positioned” means as there is nothing in your regulations that mention this at all .

    What your rules state is that between 20% – 50% of the population (depending on province/region) will need to be served within 10 years of the spectrum purchase. As the spectrum is being sold as tier two (why?) this means basically provincially.

    So in Ontario, that means Toronto, Quebec means Montreal and BC means Vancouver etc. Sorry rural Canada, unless you start having babies really quick, you are out of luck.

  • Who Needs Facts

    “Canada’s largest wireless companies currently hold more than 85% of Canada’s wireless airwaves and hold more than 90% of the Canadian market. Wouldn’t it be nice to have more choice?”

    Basically you are saying ” Wouldn’t it be nice to have Verizon as the other choice” because you neglect to mention that Wind will be bought and If Mobilcity is not included in the deal it will fold. Public Mobile will also follow suit and with the new entrants out of the way, the telcos will drop their discount brands as there is no need to compete for the bottom of the the ARPU chain any longer.

    That is a net loss of five mobile companies. Tell me again about more choice?

  • Tom Frost

    Competition has always been good for the consumer. Let’s have lots more.

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