In the News

PIAC Media Release: Consumer Groups welcome “MVNO” Wireless Competition in Canada

OTTAWA, 15 April 2021 – Consumers will benefit from “MVNO” wireless competition permitted today by Canada’s telecommunications regulator, said the “Coalition for Cheaper Wireless Service” (CCWS) a group of consumer, low-income and seniors groups whose members are the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC); ACORN Canada (ACORN); National Pensioners Federation (NPF); and CARP (formerly Canadian Association of Retired Persons).

John Lawford, PIAC Executive Director and General Counsel, welcomed the decision, noting: “Consumers made the case that they have too few choices and too high prices for cellphone service in Canada. The CRTC has finally cleared a path for MVNOs and we trust they will find Canadians are very willing to try a new wireless option.”

 

iPhone in Canada: ACORN Members Protest in Streets Against Rogers-Shaw Merger

According to ACORN Canada, members in Toronto took to the streets on April 1, raising their voices for affordable internet, protesting the under-review Rogers-Shaw merger, and urging lawmakers to take preventative action.

“Rogers can’t [fool] us. What a great #Internet4All April Fools Day Action today!! Toronto ACORN members fighting back for affordable internet because it is essential,” said the ACORN Toronto chapter on April 1, 2021, protesting outside Rogers in Toronto, Ontario.
 
“The internet is a lifeline, and we need it more than ever during COVID!! ACORN is fighting back,” added the ACORN Toronto.
 

 

Toronto Star: ‘We need the internet now’: Advocates call on government to make internet accessible — and affordable — to everyone

A group of advocates, organizations and researchers called upon the government to implement affordable internet policies during the virtual Day of Action for Affordable Internet, March 16.

The day of action involved multiple panels discussing internet affordability, competition, rural internet access, government policy and more.

Laura Tribe, executive director of grassroots organization OpenMedia, said the internet, already increasingly an important part of daily life and recognized as a human right, has become a “lifeline” during COVID-19 while remaining a privilege, as disadvantaged Canadians continue to struggle to access the internet.

She mentioned the recently announced merger of telecom companies Rogers and Shaw, news that is raising concerns about competition and pricing.

“It clearly shows that the issue is not stagnant,” said Tribe. “Every single day that this remains unaddressed the digital divide deepens.”

 

CBC News: Edmonton public school board calls on governments to improve access to internet

Edmonton public school board trustees are calling on governments to bridge the digital divide and treat the internet like a public utility.
 
On Tuesday, trustees passed a motion stating that "the internet should be accessible and affordable to all." 
 
"As we go into online learning, as we need virtual doctors appointments, as our staff may have to work from home during quarantine, as the internet is no longer a nice to have, it is a must have, that the federal government in their COVID-relief here, should do more to treat Internet like a public utility," said trustee Michael Janz, who introduced the motion.
 
 "It should be just like the water in our taps or the streetlight outside of our homes." 
 

 

Toronto.com: Rogers expands affordable internet program with aim to reach 750,000 households

Rogers has announced a significant expansion of its affordable internet program, Connected For Success, hoping to reach 750,000 households in Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland.
 
The program has already served more than 25,000 households across the three provinces, according to a Rogers spokesperson, and around 250,000 households are currently eligible. It was first available to Toronto Community Housing residents, then later expanded to all Ontarians in rent-geared-to-income housing, and to families receiving the maximum Canada Child Benefit, as well as people in Newfoundland and New Brunswick in similar situations.
 
Now, the program will also be available to Ontarians receiving income support through Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), and for senior Ontarians receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement, as well as those in Newfoundland and New Brunswick accessing similar programs. The expansion will add around 750,000 new eligible households.