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I am Canadian, a reply to Bell’s open letter

Ben Klass, ANGELUS NOVUS

Bell began its life in Canada as a branch plant of an American company; in a strange twist of fate, it’s now a descendant of National Bell Telephone – Verizon – which is contemplating (re)entering the Canadian market. And they leveraged this relationship to get an early leg up on the competition – using patents owned by its American parent, Bell quickly monopolized the market for Canadian telephone services, a monopoly it used to funnel profits back to the States.

Klass knocks Bell down a peg in this wonderful response to CEO George Cope’s Open Letter to Canadians. For our American readers, you may not have heard that Verizon Wireless is rumored to be entering the Canadian wireless market. As a Canadian, I welcome any competition with the hope that Verizon could put pressure on our incumbents to lower plan prices and offer better value to Canadian consumers. Our major carriers – Bell, Rogers, and Telus – have begun a nationwide advertising campaign complaining about Verizon’s “unfair” entry into our country. While Verizon can capitalize on certain “loopholes” meant for new, small wireless carriers (such as WIND and Mobilicity, two small Canadian carriers apparently targeted for acquisition by Verizon), the bottom line is that we need more competition in Canada. Wireless prices in our country are too high and offer little value for the price – many “base level” smartphone plans in the $50 range include tiny 150 megabyte data allotments. Our Big Three are simply trying to protect their own interests. It’s time for change.

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