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June 20, 2018 7:18 am  #1

Competition Bureau to CRTC - make lower-cost data-only plans available

News release
June 14, 2018 – OTTAWA, ON – Competition Bureau

In a submission made yesterday, the Competition Bureau recommended that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) make lower-cost data-only plans broadly available to Canadian consumers. This submission responds to the CRTC’s consultation on lower-cost data-only plans for mobile wireless services. The Bureau believes that requiring national wireless service providers to offer lower-cost data-only plans could increase consumer choice and shake up industry norms by unbundling voice and data services.

However, the Bureau cautions that imposing these plans cannot replace true competition in the wireless industry. This measure should be a temporary course of action until the CRTC can establish a longer-term solution to address competition or public policy problems that may exist in this industry. To this end, the Bureau recommends that the CRTC’s upcoming review of the Canadian wireless industry be focused on competitiveness to identify an appropriate longer-term course of action.

Quick facts
The CRTC launched its public consultation in March 2018 in response to the Government of Canada’s concerns regarding mobile phone service affordability. The CRTC is considering whether lower-cost data-only plans could fill a gap that currently exists in the marketplace.

Lower-cost data-only plans have arisen in some foreign markets without government intervention.