Telecom monopoly causing Canadians to pay higher cellphone bills: CBC investigation

Rogers, Bell and Telus own many of the budget-friendly brands in Canada

It’s no secret Canadians pay some of the highest wireless bills in the world.

Many have attempted to answer why. However, according to a recent CBC Marketplace investigation, none of the explanations spell out specifics to adequately explain why telecom prices are lower in other parts of the world and even other parts of the country.

As CBC points out, there are budget brands in Canada, and most Canadians do have more than one option of wireless providers. But these brands are owned by three companies: Rogers, Telus, and Bell.

The federal government’s 2021 wireline, wireless and internet services comparison study found Canadians are among the top three countries paying the highest telecom prices in the world, along with Japan and the U.S.

CBC’s investigation also found customers pay different prices across the county. For example, wireless plans offered by Bell, Telus and Rogers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba cost roughly $10 less than the exact same plans available in Ontario and B.C.

The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) said that it “simply costs more to operate wireless networks in Canada than most other countries.”

Ben Klass, a researcher for the Canadian Media Concentration Project, told the publication “underlying economics” do play a role, but more needs to be done to change this.

“Despite having those similar economics, the similarly situated countries nevertheless are offering service for substantially less, or for significantly better amounts of data.”

Source: CBC