In the same week that Bell and Telus announced new fees for text messaging, the Conference Board of Canada reported consumer confidence at its lowest levels in nearly 13 years, and the Bank of Canada's quarterly business outlook suggests nearly half of Canadian businesses will increase their prices next year.
Governments say communication technologies are key to our future competitiveness. But when it comes to cellphone rates, Canada's rank among the highest in the world. The CRTC's motto is "Communications in the public interest," so why isn't the regulator of our airwaves reining in telcos' nickel-and-diming the public to death?
Here's a comparison of what worldwide carriers charge to transfer 500 MB of data (roughly 100 minutes of usage):
Vodafone (New Zealand) $41 T-Mobile (U.S.) $58 Sprint (U.S.) $69 Terracom (Rwanda) $74 Telstra (Australia) $83 Vodafone (UK) $102 Telus $375 Bell $850 Fido $1,600 Rogers $1,600