Canadian Manufacturing

Feds report price reductions for data plans although more progress is needed

Prices for a majority of mid-range data plans across Canada have decreased since price tracking began a year ago

May 4, 2021  by CM Staff

François-Philippe Champagne PHOTO: Reinis Inkēns, Saeimas Administrācija

OTTAWA — The Government of Canada has announced the publication of the latest quarter wireless pricing data on 2 GB to 6 GB data plans. After more than a year of tracking, the latest data show a majority of these data plans across Canada have seen price declines between 9 and 25% compared to benchmark prices collected in early 2020.

“Improving affordability, competition and innovation in wireless plans is a priority for our government,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, in a prepared statement. “I am encouraged to see declining prices on a majority of plans across Canada. There is still more work to be done, and we will continue working with service providers in the coming year to make sure all Canadians have access to more affordable options.”

Minister Champagne also announced the publication of the 2020 Price Comparison Study of Telecom Services, an annual report that tracks the prices for wireless, home Internet and mobile Internet services. While these results are distinct from the quarterly benchmark, the trend they have recorded is similar. The annual study found that in the low- to mid-level service range, prices have declined between 19 and 28 percent compared to 2019.

The government has made clear that, over two years, the three major wireless providers and their flanker brands, which represent 90% of the national market, are expected to offer plans in the 2 GB to 6 GB range that are 25% cheaper than the established benchmarks. If these options are not offered to Canadians, the government will look at other regulatory tools to further increase competition in the marketplace and help Canadian consumers make better-informed decisions about their telecom services.

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