Insiders reveal that federal government spent $9million on wireless competition ad campaign

by Andrew Roach on December 3, 2013

Over the past year or so, the national government have tried multiple ideas to try and increase competition in the domestic wireless market despite each idea failing to have any impact on the current set-up.

Their latest move has consisted of a series of adverts in the nation’s media to try and show the public that they want more choice in the industry but their newest crusade against the major telecom providers has come at a cost – $9M.

The figures – revealed by government officials – have outlined just how determined the government are to implement changes into the national wireless market which is seen as one of the strongest in North America.

The ad campaign has been funded and produced by Industry Canada who started running radio and newspaper ads in September before airing the TV productions at the start of November.

Although there’s no harm in launching a campaign to promote equality in such an important industry, the expense that the government have put towards it has caught some people by surprise.

Out of the $9m spent, it’s estimated that a quarter of it ($2.7m) had been spent on the TV adverts alone which are scheduled to air until December 22.

The adverts target some of the prime concerns aired by the public in the last few months including cheaper plans, improved service and lower roaming fees

However, the campaign fails to address the upcoming spectrum auction on January 14 which in itself could have huge ramifications for the national set-up and increase competition across the country.

When asked about the campaign, Industry Canada spokesperson Jake Enwright stated that they were just presenting facts to the public. In an email to CBC, Enwright stated: “Our government has an obligation to ensure the facts about our wireless policy are communicated to Canadians. These ads provide those facts.”

Unsurprisingly, many of the top telecom companies across the country have reacted unfavourably to the government’s ad campaign citing it as just a new way to attack them in the public spotlight. These views were echoed in a statement made by the Canadian Wireless Telecom Association where they announced: “We believe this is unprecedented — for the federal government to use tax dollars to attack an industry that contributes so much to the Canadian economy, that has made record investments in recent years, and that plays by the rules. No one believes this is a good use of tax dollars”

With the campaign already in full swing, it’s unlikely to stop anytime soon especially when the relationship between the government and the telecom industry is at an all-time low. However, the cost at which both sides are looking to undermine the other is quickly not going to be just financial as consumers could start feeling the pinch soon if the rows continue to escalate going into 2014.

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Written by: Andrew Roach www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube

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The Government Wireless Policy: $9 Million Spent on Empty Words? — TheTelecomBlog.com
December 9, 2013 at 6:00 am

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