Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Text Message to PMSteve2008: Hallellujah!

All praise the gods of competition. Its about time that the cell phone industry in Canada was opened up. As I have already previously posted, I am absolutely SICK and TIRED of being hosed by by cell phone provider month after month.

If you go Stateside, you see phones as ridiculously low prices WITHOUT a 25-year contract. The rates are cheaper AND the coverage is often better. Its high time we saw some of that action in Canada.

Not to say that this new policy is a complete panacea for high rates and less choice. Although, I do think that the Harper government got something right solely based on the reaction we've seen from the OPEC of cellular service in Canada: Rogers, Bell and Telus. If they are saying the policy sucks, they must be doing SOMETHING right.

Now, there are a couple of possibilites that could be bad for consumers: the new upstarts create one large company, for instance. Its hard to see one additional company having a huge impact on rates. That would suck.

However, I will be very unconservative in one view: I think the government is completely in the right to offer subsidies for new companies who want to come into the market. I suspect it is largely driven at US companies such as Cingular and Verizon.

We all need to understand that Canada is a tiny market compared to the US, Asia, Europe and even Africa. There is very little chance to ever seen any substantial involvement by US (or European) cell companies, given the huge headstart Canadian companies have on them in terms of infrastructure and market share.

While I haven't read all the data, my guess is that they would be unwilling to invest in such a small market without a financial incentive to do so. And who suffers? We do.

I consider this move is essential a tax cut. It takes the money I'm giving to the government, who then uses it to lower my monthly costs. Its savings all kinds of people and companies will see on a regular basis and is good for the global nature of the Canadian economy.

Now, if they could only regulate the cell phone companies to gurantee I get a good cell signal, they'd be guaranteed a majority!

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