Liberals to make lower cellphone, internet bills election promise: sources

The Liberals are expected to make lowering cellphone and internet bills an election promise, according to party sources.

Reuters reported that the ruling party could be looking into a cap on bills, or maybe even having incumbent carriers provide more access to Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)

Currently, the Liberals are tied in the polls with the Conservatives ahead of the October election.

“Canadians shouldn’t be paying more for their already very expensive internet and communications services and that is something we will take into account,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters, according to Reuters.

“There are two choices: legislate or push through measures to boost competition,” one party source told Reuters.

It’s worth adding that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) launched a review into the wireless market in Canada and whether or not there are affordable options. A hearing will take place on January 2020.

More recently, the CRTC set the final wholesale rates that large providers can charge to smaller companies for access to their high-speed broadband networks to “facilitate greater competition.”

The Liberal Party of Canada introduced new funding in Budget 2019 to ensure all Canadians have access to high-speed internet by 2030. Rural Economic Development Minister Bernadette Jordan’s Connectivity Strategy details how the party intends to make this happen.

At the same time, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains has issued a policy directive that requires the CRTC to make decisions with affordability and fairness for Canadians in mind. This includes having affordable and fair cellphone and internet prices.

With respect to the other parties, the New Democrat Party indicated it too has a plan to reduce cellphone and internet bills in Canada.

The Conservative Party of Canada has not announced any wireless plan related strategies as of yet.

The Green Party of Canada indicated that it wants to regulate rates and have new companies be able to come into the market.

Source: Reuters