Conservatives Support NDP Look Into Incumbents’ Wireless Plan Hikes

by Istvan Fekete on April 4, 2014

The Conservatives will support an NDP motion to study the impact of the recent wireless plan hike. Toronto NDP MP Peggy Nash’s motion got the Harper government’s support, a spokesman for Industry Minister James Moore told the GlobalNews.

On the other hand, the support cannot be taken granted: the spokesman, Jake Enwright, also criticized the NDP’s position on this year’s budget, as they didn’t support the government, despite containing plans for capping domestic roaming fees.

The NDP also criticized the Conservatives’ omnibus budget bills, because they contain parts they don’t support, despite containing parts they are willing to back. Nash and her party have supported capping roaming rates for years. She also wants the committee to report the results by the end of April in her effort to make wireless services more affordable to Canadians.

“We need to do a lot more to make wireless services more affordable for Canadians,” Nash said in an interview.

“The Conservatives have been buying ads and patting themselves on the back about wireless prices but this is a concrete example for consumers of their failure to create competition and better prices.”

But the end-of-April deadline seems unrealistic, especially with the two-week Easter break just a few days away.

When urging the study, Nash pointed to the recent $5 base plan increase in most areas by Rogers, Telus and Bell. The incumbents, however, have their reasons for the price hike. A Telus spokesman told the GlobalNews that the telco has also decreased rates for the most popular plans by $5 and added two new data plans.

In an email sent to us, a Rogers spokeswoman, Sarah Foster, said the company is regularly adjusting its prices and the services it offers, and this is the reason for the rise.

The results of the study can be foreseen already, and Nash is aware of that, but she needs numbers to back up the lack of wireless competition, especially in light of the government’s euphoria for Videotron purchasing spectrum in key wireless areas.

Nash also wants to see representatives from the big three to appear and testify in front of the committee, if the motion passes.

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

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