As Canadians rely more and more on telecommunications services to work from home, and kids to learn from home, the federal government says it has introduced measures to make wireless services more affordable.
This includes keeping providers accountable for their pricing and reducing the cost of some of the most popular wireless plans by 25 per cent over two years, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada announced Friday.
“While I'm encouraged by the decreasing prices for a majority of plans across Canada, there is still progress needed to meet our goal,” Fancois-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovation, science and industry, said in a statement. “We will continue working with service providers to ensure all Canadians have access to more affordable wireless services.”
According to the government leg, prices for a majority of mid-range data plans across the country have decreased between nine and 25 per cent since price tracking started over a year ago.
Enhancing competition will help to better prices for consumers, the government says.
To do that, feds have set out pro-competition rules for the 600 MHz band spectrum auction that led to the regional providers more than double their share of low-band spectrum.
They’ve also issued policy directions to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission that requires the commission to consider how its decisions can promote competition, affordability, consumer interests and innovation.
Over the last two years, the three major wireless providers and their flanker brands — which represent 90 per cent of the market — are expected to offer plans in the 2 GB to 6 GB rate that are 25 per cent cheaper than the established benchmarks.
If they don’t meet this goal, the government will look to other regulatory tools to further increase competition in the marketplace, the government says.