Dear Editor: I would like to respond to your Aug. 28 editorial about the wireless industry, Wave Action, that has some incorrect information in it.
First and foremost, at Telus we don't shy away from competition. We say "bring it on." What we are advocating for is the chance to compete on a level playing field. The current rules set out by the government do not allow for that and, in fact, hand taxpayer-funded advantages to huge foreign firms - in Verizon's case a firm with three times as many customers as the entire population of Canada. They can afford to compete with us head-to-head.
Competition in the Canadian wireless market is fierce and we go head-to-head with all wireless carriers on a daily basis for customers' business. We recently introduced SharePlus plans, building on a drive to put customers at the core of pricing plans that began with Clear and Simple plans launched in 2009 - the first wireless plans in Canada to do away with the system access fee. Since then, Telus has eliminated activation fees, introduced data notifications and caps to eliminate bill shock when travelling, introduced device unlocking, re-written contracts in plain language, added caller ID and voicemail as standard on all Telus rate plans and eliminated contract cancellation charges in favour of a device balance.
It is incorrect to write Canadians pay skyhigh prices. It is a myth. The latest OECD report out just this year actually proves, once again, the prices Canadians pay for wireless services are about average for developed countries and that Canadians have access to some of the best wireless networks anywhere in the world.
Report after report finds the same thing. The recent CRTC-sponsored Wall Report, the Jeff Fan report issued in March, the 2011 Nordicity report, even the 2011 OECD report all found Canadian pricing is about average in the developed world, and in most cases lower than in the U.S. Telus has invested $102 billion in technology and operations since 2000 across the country. We are not perfect, but we are getting better. All we want is the chance to compete fairly.
Unfortunately, all Canadians will be affected by the federal government's current policy framework that offers unfair advantages to massive foreign organizations.
Lisa LaMothe, general manager
Telus, North Vancouver
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