Poll: Should mobile phones now be considered an essential service in Canada?


  • Jose Mendoza

    A mobile phone yes a smart phone no.

    • Cass_m

      Exactly José. Cellular coverage. This is simply a commitment to extend service to isolated areas.

    • Stephen_81

      And subsidize those who can not afford it, because it is an essential service, so Carriers could increase rates, and they’d get the money because those who truly can’t afford it would be subsidized.

      Mandating a Voice only component be essential means that $35ish is near the top end of the subsidy per month, vs $90ish with data.

    • Cass_m

      If it was an essential service it would be subsidized through social services not through the carriers I would think.

    • Stephen_81

      Yes, Social services would pay the carriers. the difference, and as such the new “entry level” plans could be targeted at a higher pricepoint because they are getting topped up by social assistance .

  • Jim Thibault

    Say yes and guess who pays ? We do !!
    For it is only in the last 25 years people started carrying them before the 80s we survived fine.

    • pozzitron

      We also survived before the mass adoption of landline base telephone service. By your logic we don’t need telephone service, We were fine with telegrams and regular mail.

    • h2oflyer

      Agreed…just think, telegrams were digital and mail went by Pony Express.

  • CoryB

    Challenge is is mobile is ruled as an “essentially service” it means every Canadian needs access. Ultimately that means everyone is going to pay more to cover the gaps in coverage in rural and remote areas.

  • h2oflyer

    You would’ve got the same poll results to the same question if you asked it when Mr Bell launched his new fangled expensive telephony service.

  • Surveillance

    The telephony part of a phone yes. Data access and LTE-A? Not so much

    • pozzitron

      Sounds like a plan. Let’s go through all the effort and expense of putting up towers to cover the whole country, but those towers are only good for voice calls!

    • Surveillance

      Towers pretty much cover the entire country already

    • pozzitron

      Agreed, but I guess I don’t understand your original comment. So what you are saying is that the service is overpriced? We should be looking at regulating the price of the essential service? And keep in mind that with VoLTE there is no more “Voice” vs “Data” since voice is data.

  • Russ

    I know quite a few people who haven chosen to not have a smart phone with data, because they’re content having a phone and Internet access at home.

    I also know people (including myself) who have cancelled their home phones in favour of mobile phones. But in all of those cases, they still have home Internet access for all of their other devices.

    And I know people who keep their home phones only because they want their children to have access to a reliable and easy-to-use phone in case of an emergency.

    So, I can’t yet consider a mobile phone to be an essential service, because it’s still a choice and you can live without it.

    I think we’ll soon reach the point when cellular service (not data) is essential. And if we reach the point where the majority of people are choosing to stream all of their Internet usage through their phones and ditch their home Internet plans, then mobile data will also be essential.

    It’s worth noting that corporate phones kind of throw a wrench into this–if your company is willing to pay for your phone, then it’s not essential for you to pay for one yourself.

    Bottom line: it’s all very subjective, and will probably remain so for the foreseeable future.

  • Avgvstvs

    Lol. Think long and hard about this one. Whenever the word “essential” comes up – the government tries sticking it’s snout into business and creates an even bigger mess than was there before.

    Any time the government tries to regulate – it all just turns to mush.

    • Do Do

      Regulation hasn’t hurt the collusion has it? Don’t worry, business’ will be fine, they are the governments number one priority, not he the public.

  • somebody else

    Of course! IT IS an essential service if people axe their landlines.