It's ridiculous that Canada’s Big Telecom giants are going to Federal Court to delay new cell phone rules

Big Telecom’s last-ditch effort to delay new cell phone rules has sparked condemnation from Canadians across the political spectrum. It’s now time to look past the closed, old-fashioned model Big Telecom represents, to build an open digital future for all Canadians.

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There’s a broad consensus that the big cell phone giants really stepped over the line by trying to delay changes that will benefit all Canadians. Even the Prime Minister weighed in against Big Telecom, posting a large graphic on his Facebook page saying: “Canadians should be allowed to cancel their cellphone contracts after two years without cancellation fees”.

In a way this new affront on Canadians by Big Telecom isn’t surprising. Long-time OpenMedia.ca community members will know how things Big Telecom says rarely match up with reality. Our own Steve Anderson exposed how Telus long ago lost its credibility with its clumsy use of old data in a failed attempt to undermine complaints about their service.

Catherine Hart debunked another false claim, explaining how high cell phone bills have nothing to do with the size of Canada. But going to federal court to delay rules crafted with citizen input (they even had to name “members of the public” in the motion they filed) is a new low even for Big Telecom.  

Again and again, we see how Big Telecom’s false claims reveal their appalling sense of entitlement - due no doubt to the decades of government coddling they’ve benefited from. Their court case may be bad news, but in many ways it also marks the final gasp of the old-fashioned, high-cost, closed model of telecommunications that the Big Three represent.

Canadians are speaking up and demanding better and we’ve seen this movie before. Canadians have laid out a clear road map forward for our wireless future. We worked with Canadians and experts across the country to put it and the larger Time For an Upgrade report together, and we hope the Industry Minister has read it as promised, and is ready to move forward.  It’s time to open up our networks to all Canadians and new service providers.

There’s now a rapidly growing consensus that we need to look beyond Big Telecom’s closed, old-fashioned model. Canadians of all political stripes are moving on and looking forward, determined to build an open digital future for all of us. The big cell phone providers had a chance to listen to Canadians. They’ve missed that opportunity and now it’s time for them to relinquish their control over our communication networks.

 

As we move forward to fix our broken cell phone and telecom market, we recommend Canadians hold off until December to get a new cell phone to ensure you can benefit from the new two year contract limits. If Big Telecom is successful in their court case, those who sign up before December might be stuck in a restrictive contract until nearly 2017.  

You can send our plan to fix our broken cell phone market to your M.P. HERE.

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