Government delivers more choices at lower prices for wireless services

Government delivers more choices at lower prices for wireless services

Ottawa – Cathy McLeod, Member of Parliament for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo says she is pleased that the government will be taking action to provide Canadian families with more choices at lower prices for wireless services.

“The government plans to hold the 700MHz auction in the first half of 2013, to be followed by auction of the 2500MHz spectrum within a year, which will further enable service providers to meet the growing demand for data by consumers and businesses,” said McLeod.

“The measures introduced this week will give rural Canadians the same advanced services as everyone else in a timely manner,” said McLeod.  “In addition, a portion of the spectrum will be reserved for public safety users such as police and firefighters across Canada.”

The changes to the 700MHz spectrum will allow telecom companies to bring the latest 4G LTE mobile networks to Canadian consumers and businesses, including those in rural areas. This means Canadians will have access to the fastest mobile speeds and latest devices, such as the newest iPad, PlayBook and smartphones. They will have access to high-definition video and video conferencing over mobile networks. Canadians will benefit from greater access to e-health, intelligent transport and other advanced applications. This will result in improved connectivity for consumers, increased business productivity and enhanced safety for Canadians.

More specifically, the measures will include:

•The Telecommunications Act will be amended to lift foreign investment restrictions for telecom companies that hold less than a 10-percent share of the total Canadian telecommunications market. This will help telecom companies with a small market share access the capital they need to grow and compete.

• The government will be applying caps in the upcoming spectrum auctions to guarantee that both new wireless competitors and incumbent carriers have access to the spectrum up for auction.

• The government will improve and extend the existing policy on roaming and tower sharing to further support competition and will improve transparency and information sharing to facilitate agreements between companies to slow the proliferation of new cellphone towers.

“Since 2008 our government has promoted competition in the wireless sector, this has resulted in reducing the mobile wireless prices for Canadian families by 10 percent. The measures announced this week build on our actions, supporting competition and the availability of advanced wireless services in rural areas,” concluded McLeod.