Consumers are using the internet for an ever-increasing range of activities. This has meant that home internet data usage has also increased at a rapid pace. Unfortunately, most home internet connections these days are limited by usage caps. The customers are given a basic allotment of data usage, with any usage over that amount subject to additional charges at exorbitant “overage fee” rates. So while these plans my not technically be capped, the practical usage of them means that customers are limited to the original usage allotment of their plan.
In 2013 consumers in North America used an average of 1.3GB of data per month. In 2018 consumers are expected to be using 9GB of data per month, an 11-fold increase in usage over 5 years before. Consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices for more of their daily activities every year and unfortunately this increased data usage is not changing to reflect these usage patters. Consumers are constantly facing increasing costs for using their increasingly powerful devices to consume ever more rich content at an constantly increasing cost.
Every one who engages in a policy of selling products in any area of Canada at prices lower than those exacted by him elsewhere in Canada is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
This is Section 50, paragraph 1(b), of the Canadian Competition Act (1985) which outlines what constitutes discriminatory pricing.
The pricing practices of all of the major wireless providers in Canada perpetuate a highly uncompetitive marketplace practices which fall squarely under the definition of discriminatory pricing as defined about in the Competition Act.
It was announced recently that the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would be lifting their long-running, controversial restriction on the use of electronic devices during take-off and landing on US flights. The lifting of this ban has been hailed as major victory for passengers who can now use their smartphones, tablets, and laptops during all aspects of air travel. Unfortunately, many cannot recognise the indirect implications of lifting this ban and why it should stay in effect.
On Monday September 23rd the CRTC released the list of companies that had put forward a deposit with the intention to bid in the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction. Unfortunately that list of companies is populated with only incumbent Canadian carriers and small regional players looking to pick up localized spectrum blocks, none of which will poster much diversity in the Canadian wireless market.
The problem is that Canadians are still being left with no real chance to break out of the current three-player system Canada is currently stuck with.