The Canadian Wireless Debate is Over: How the Incumbent Carriers Lost the Support of the Government

Michael Geist, Jun 05, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This may be small news internationally, but it's pretty major, I think, here in Canada, and it suggests some wider trends may be moving in the right direction. In a nutshell (Michael Geist provides the details) the government took a series of measures this week to weaken the incumbents' hold on wireless services. Data plans can no longer lock-in consumers for three years, and data plans themselves should get more competitive. "government and public positions on the issue have solidified. The debate is no longer about whether the Canadian market is competitive. It is now about how to fix an uncompetitive market." Why might there be wider implications? Well, wireless data is not the only uncompetitive market in Canada and elsewhere. Most content-based markets are  uncompetitive either, with publishers and broadcasters relying on what are essential monopolies to keep prices high (that's why open educational resources are such a threat to them).

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