March 4th, 2020
MP REPORT: Lower Cellular Fees and Better Internet Coverage For Our Region
High speed Internet and cellular services are increasingly becoming a necessity for Canadians, especially here in our region.
Despite this, broadband access and wireless services are far from being affordable or reliable in our region and across Canada.
In fact, Canadians pay some of the highest prices in the world for cellular and Internet access. At the same time, many people in our region have limited or no coverage.
For decades, successive governments have left cell phone and Internet companies with very little regulation – and absolutely no cap on what they can charge people. Here in Manitoba, the Liberal government allowed Bell to take over MTS, reducing the competition that keeps prices affordable. The result is that three big companies – Bell, Rogers, and Telus – serve 90% of Canadians – and those companies are free to hike rates without competition.
Despite receiving $50 million in subsidies, and $700 million in contracts from our federal government, these companies charge Canadians 30% more on average than people in France, Germany, and the UK.
These are services Canadians rely on for work, school and health care, and they need them to stay connected to family and friends – but prices are skyrocketing and families are facing bills in the hundreds of dollars every month.
Canadians deserve leadership on this issue. As MP for our region, my message is clear. We must use every tool available to make life more affordable for people, including affordable cell phone and Internet service. We must also do more to expand high-speed Internet and cell phone service.