Is the federal government trying to hide from results of this year’s report on telecom prices in Canada? Their silence today over the release of the annual Wall Report sure makes it look that way and, having seen the results, it’s not hard to imagine why. Yet again, the annual report analyzing Canada’s telecoms prices reveals that Canadians are paying among the highest rates in the world.

The report compares Canada’s landline, cell phone, broadband and mobile Internet, and basic TV service bundles to those of Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. (some of the most expensive countries around the globe).

How do we compare? Well, in short: we don’t. Across the board, Canadian telecom services just don’t measure up. At 89 pages, the report is a long read. But it’s worth taking a look if you want to figure out how exactly how your plan compares.

Here’s what you need to know about your telecom rates here in Canada:

  1. Canada’s prices are among highest in the industrialized world

    Have the most basic cell phone plan? You pay the most of anyone in the industrialized world ($37.29, compared to $22.00 average). Do you have broadband internet? The average 16-40 Mbps service costs 64 per cent more in Canada ($67.81) than in the U.K. ($41.25). Across almost every category of use — from the most basic to the largest packages, from cell phones to broadband internet — Canadians are paying more than our global counterparts.

  2. Big Telecom are preventing new providers that would drive rates down

    Lower prices in other countries were “due to the availability of exceptionally low-priced prepaid voice services” in countries such as France, Germany, and Italy, where residents experience greater choice in mobile providers. The Big Three are restricting choice and keeping our rates so high.

  3. Prices are still going up!

    On average, rates over the past year increased at three times the rate of inflation. When you consider that we’re already paying more than anyone else, it’s hard to believe that Big Telecom can justify the continued rate increases.

  4. The government isn’t talking about it

    Last year when the report was launched, it was a big deal. This year? Silence. The continuing discouraging results are making it harder and harder to justify the unreasonably high prices that Canadians are paying for our telecommunications services. It’s time to demand change!

What does this mean for you?

There is much to be done. Earlier this month, we had a big win: The new Cell Phone Code of Conduct means that we are free from three year contracts and have more protections as cell phone users. But there is still much work to be done to get our prices down to affordable rates.

So what can you do about it?

It’s time to demand better! We need to stand together and apply serious pressure to demand lower prices. Join over 25,000 Canadians who have spoken out for faster, cheaper Internet and cell phone services at UnblockCanada.ca.

Laura Tribe

Laura Tribe

Laura Tribe is a Digital Rights Specialist at OpenMedia. With a background in the intersection of human rights and information communication technologies, she has a particular interest in privacy and...