In the News
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.”
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.
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.”