Why are wireless data rates in Canada so absurd?

I recently bought a SIM card for the Acer laptop I got at Microsoft PDC. Although it took a hour or more to get the new SIM card set up and provisioned (because the guys at Sounds Fantastic had never provisioned a laptop that had a built-in 3G card), it is sedt up and works great.

My only complaint is with the price of data-only plans here in Canada. I mean, $30 for 500 mb? $85 for up to 5 gb? Why do we not have reasonably priced “all you can eat” plans like they do south of the border?

The answer came to me while I was waiting for my card to be provisioned – the phone and cable companies here in Canada cannot afford to reduces wireless data prices. If people could buy high speed wireless broadband for a price comparable to their home internet service, why would they buy DSL or Cable internet? This would effectively kill one whole profit stream for the Phone and Cable companies.

While I understand this form a business perspective, it concenrs me that this is holding our nation back in terms of development of mobile applications and services which take advantage of wireless broadband. Should the existing carrriers be allowed to artificially inflate wireless broadband rates in order to protect their wired internet businesses, to the detriment of the country as a whole?

Isn’t this what the CRTC shuld be protecting us against? God knows the CRTC needs SOMETHING useful to do!


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