Harper Government Takes Action to Support Canadian Families
Russell, Ontario, March 14, 2012—Today, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry, announced that the Harper Government will be taking action to provide Canadian families with more choices at low prices for wireless services.
“The Harper Government understands that Canadian families work hard for their money and that they want their government to make decisions that will help them keep more of it,” said Minister Paradis. “The measures I am outlining today will ensure the timely availability of world-class wireless services at low prices for Canadian families, including those in rural areas.”
Minister Paradis announced that:
- The Telecommunications Act will be amended to lift foreign investment restrictions for telecom companies that hold less than a 10-percent share of the total Canadian telecommunications market. This will help telecom companies with a small market share access the capital they need to grow and compete.
- The government will be applying caps in the upcoming spectrum auctions to guarantee that both new wireless competitors and incumbent carriers have access to the spectrum up for auction.
- The government will apply specific measures in the 700 MHz auction to see that rural Canadians will have access to the same advanced services as everyone else in a timely manner.
- The government will improve and extend the existing policy on roaming and tower sharing to further support competition and will improve transparency and information sharing to facilitate agreements between companies to slow the proliferation of new cellphone towers.
- A portion of the 700 MHz spectrum will be reserved for public safety users such as police and firefighters across Canada.
This spectrum will allow telecom companies to bring the latest 4G LTE mobile networks to Canadian consumers and businesses, including those in rural areas. This means Canadians will have access to the fastest mobile speeds and latest devices, such as the newest iPad, PlayBook and smartphones. They will have access to high-definition video and video conferencing over mobile networks. Canadians will benefit from greater access to e-health, intelligent transport and
other advanced applications. This will result in improved connectivity for consumers, increased business productivity and enhanced safety for Canadians.
In 2008, the Harper Government set aside spectrum for new entrants and implemented other policies to support new competitors. New entrants have since made large investments to launch services and are providing greater choice to Canadian consumers.
“Our government has taken significant action to promote competition in the wireless sector, and our decisions have helped to reduce mobile wireless prices for Canadian families by 10 percent since 2008,” said Minister Paradis.
Today’s announcement will provide Canadian families with more choices at low prices for wireless services. For a more detailed description of the measures to be taken as part of the policy approach to the upcoming auctions of 700 MHz and 2500 MHz spectrum, please consult the attached backgrounder.
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For the press release, click here.
For additional Background:
|For further information (media only), please contact: Richard Walker|
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Christian Paradis
Minister of Industry