- 4 years ago

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Ottawa is very close to releasing very salient information on whether or not there will be wireless spectrum reserved for startup discount wireless carriers in the next government auction. Vancouver-based internet advocacy organization OpenMedia is publicly pleading with the Canadian government to set aside wireless spectrum lest the Big Three mercilessly devour it all.

OpenMedia has launched a new campaign, Stop the Cell Phone Squeeze, which states that “the Big Three cell phone giants, who already control almost 94% of the market, are trying to trick the government into shutting independent competitors out of the market,” according to reports.

They’re trying to block competitors from being able to use essential wireless spectrum. These giant phone companies are going so far as to use high-priced lobbyists and one is even using a fake grassroots campaign. In short, they will kill independent competition and be the only game in town.

This scheme will lock Canada behind the rest of the world on mobile communications, cripple essential innovation, limit social progress, and drain your wallet every month. Canadians already pay some of the highest cell phone fees in the industrialized world and this is going to make it worse.

 “This would kill the few independent mobile options we have. That means increased prices and even worse customer service,” says OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson. “We have reports that lobbyists from the Big Three are working overtime to manipulate the government,” continues Anderson. “This is all part of a multi-faceted campaign for a command-and-control Internet and communications system. Canadians need to come together to stand against this.”

OpenMedia warns that Canadians “will face higher prices, tighter contracts, and more disrespectful customer service.” If the Big Three succeed, they will “squeeze independent providers out of the cell phone market; squeeze Canadians into binding longer term contracts with disrespectful customer service; and squeeze more money out of your wallet every single month through new fees on your bill.” A petition can be signed here.