Mark Goldberg

Increasing consumer choice

Over the past few weeks, new mobile plans have been met with mixed reviews.

The major carriers launched mobile data services plans that remove the fear of ‘overage’ charges, slowing down access speeds after the subscriber reaches the monthly tier maximum; these plans are being reviewed by the regulator to determine compliance with the CRTC’s network neutrality framework.

In a recent article (“Will net neutrality force the CRTC kill the new $75 wireless plans?“), observed that the CRTC asked carriers to justify the plans compliance:

Address, with rationale and data, why these practices should not be considered to amount to blocking the delivery of content or Internet traffic to an end-user. Your answer should include information to explain, for example, how the reduced speed does not cause degradation to the service to such an extent that it would amount to controlling the content and influencing the meaning and purpose of the telecommunications in question.

Earlier this week, Rogers announced new financing plans “allowing customers to choose either 24- or 36-month $0 down and interest free options.” Critics quickly denounced the 36-month option, charging that the plan violates the early termination rules set out in the CRTC’s Wireless Code. One industry critic denounced the plan saying “People who can’t afford a down payment shouldn’t be financing the latest iPhone.”

The new plans provide new options for consumers to manage their monthly bills, enabling them to access the latest devices with no money down and lower monthly payments.

As I wrote on Twitter earlier this week, if the Wireless Code prohibits these kinds of choices, then maybe it’s the Code that needs changing, not the option of such innovative consumer pricing plans.

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