via OpenMedia: As Ottawa prepares to release the framework that will shape the future of mobile in Canada, a new campaign titled “Stop the Cell Phone Squeeze” is urging Canadians to speak out against the Big Three providers’ near-oligopoly on the cell phone market.
OpenMedia.ca—the group behind the half-a-million strong Stop The Meter campaign protesting usage-based billing, and the Stop Online Spying campaign, responsible for removing invasive online spying bills from the omnibus crime package—is calling on the Industry Minister to stand up against the Big Three, and save choice and affordability in the cell phone market.
OpenMedia.ca is asking Canadians to encourage the government to set aside key wireless spectrum, which, says OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson, the Big Three giant cell phone providers hope to gobble up in order to shut out start-ups and independent providers.
OpenMedia.ca’s efforts come partly in response to an attempt by Rogers to mimic grassroots campaign tactics (curiously reminiscent of those used by the pro-Internet community) to convince government that Big Telecom should be able to control as much wireless spectrum as it wants. Says Anderson, “This would kill the few independent mobile options we have. That means increased prices and even worse customer service.”
“We have reports that lobbyists from the Big Three are working overtime to manipulate the government,” continues Anderson. “This is all part of a multi-faceted campaign for a command-and-control Internet and communications system. Canadians need to come together to stand against this.”
Wireless spectrum is increasingly crucial for cell phones, which more and more Canadians are using to communicate and access the Internet. If the government allows the Big Three to take control of the cell phone market through the spectrum auction, OpenMedia.ca warns that Canadians will face higher prices, tighter contracts, and more disrespectful customer service.