Briefing

Quebec only province where cell phone prices are down 25 per cent: Government report

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The federal government released its first progress report as part of an attempt to get Rogers, Bell and Telus to cut prices by 25 per cent over two years. Subsequent reports will be released quarterly. (The Logic)

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Talking point: There’s still a fair amount of time for the Big Three to meet the government’s target. So far, though, prices largely haven’t dropped at all. In every province other than Quebec, there was no reduction in the prices for any phone plans between January and June. Telus communications manager Richard Gilhooley called on the government to include his firm’s subsidiary Public Mobile in its tracking, which he said exceeded the government’s 25 per cent target with its 2 GB, 4 GB and 8 GB plans. Asked if his firm planned to meet the government’s timeline for price reductions, he said, “We are committed to developing plans that meet the needs of Canadians and will continue to refine our offerings as those needs evolve.” Government pressure is butting up against falling revenues; last week, Rogers posted a net income drop of 53 per cent for the second quarter in the midst of the pandemic. The Competition Bureau is also ramping up its call for the Big Three to face more competition from smaller firms. – Zane 

This piece has been updated with comment from Telus.