August 19th, 2019 - 4:17pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 19, 2019
CANCELLATION OF BELL SERVICE ROLLOUT SHOWS FAILURE OF LIBERAL PLAN: MASSE
Demonstrates government more interested in protecting corporate profits than serving Canadians
(Windsor)- Today, Brian Masse M.P. (Windsor West), NDP Innovation, Science, Economic Development and Auto Critic, said that Bell Canada’ cancellation of planned service rollout to 200,000 households shows that the Liberals’ flawed plan to create more competition in the telecom sector is already failing.
“You can’t have a real plan to deal with telecom affordability and service without the courage to take on the well-connected telecom giants. What’s shocking isn’t that the Liberals’ plan failed, but that it failed in just four days,” Masse stated. “Bell’s display of corporate greed to save a rounding error in their revenue is leading them to abandon 200,000 underserved Canadian households. Bell’s customers wait on hold longer than it took them to protect their price gouging.”
Bell announced today it will reduce its broadband Internet buildout for smaller towns and rural communities by 20%, or approximately 200,000 households in response to a CRTC decision that lowered wholesale rates for third-party Internet resellers. This follows Minister Bains’ late February decision to issue a policy directive to the CRTC to changes its regulatory focus from “facilities-based investment” to so called “competition.” The policy change came into effect this summer.
“For decades, Conservative and Liberal governments have abandoned Canadian consumers by allowing unfair competition to fester in the telecom market. The result is Canadians pay among the highest prices in the world for cellphone and internet service, while those living in rural and remote communities have no service at all,” said Masse. “Today’s decision demonstrates the Liberals’ plan will protect telecom company profits while doing nothing guarantee Canadians wireless or high speed internet access. If the government had done what we have advocated and use the spectrum auctions funds to build internet broadband every Canadian would already have universal service at affordable prices.”
From 2001 to 2019 the government has taken in $17.6 billion from Spectrum auctions. According to internal government estimates, it would take $6 billion to provide a full broadband connection to all Canadians.