Why Canadian Telecom Deregulation Will Send Prices Up

15 Apr ’07

The Globe on why Maxime Bernier is Canadian Telecom’s bestest-ever friend (note: the article is byline-d “Heather Scoffield” but email sig’d Derek DeCloet). This on the heels of Tom’s post on Canadian mobile data rates. Mark says it’s because Bell and Telus can’t afford to compete. I’d put it a little differently – it’s because Rogers doesn’t have to compete. If this situation weren’t so sad, I’d still be chuckling at the articles that the Globe has run in recent years describing Canadian telecom as “fiercely competitive”. Sigh. I like Rogers. I like Rogers a lot. But I hate pricing in this market. And the centrality of Rogers and the other cableco’s to all telecom in Canada, when paired with a regulator who would rather be sailing, is beginning to feel dangerous.

Update: Mark mentions Andy’s mention of a variety of IP services as a competitive pressure on pricing in Canada. Except that they aren’t, and won’t be in any time frame that matters now. Services that are used by a miniscule fraction of the Canadian population, and only in limited circumstances, pose no threat to the Rogers and Bells of the world, IMO, and won’t for a long time. Skype has been available now for an eternity in telecomm years, with no discernable impact. Finally, wi-fi with practical utility for mobile users is still an eternity away for the average user, and WiMax will be controlled by the same providers. Personally, I see no salvation in any of it.

Updater: Alec explains how to keep your costs in check.

Updaterest: And so it goes.

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