In 2003 Canadians paid far less than Americans for wireline telephone services: such was the
determination of SeaBoard’s cross-national communications study. The present study revisits
the questions posed in 2003 and explores whether the early conclusions still hold. The answer?
Canadians still have less expensive communications services, but the gap has narrowed. There
have been shifts – in Canada prices for some baskets of services are as much as 19% more, while
prices in other places, London, England is an example, have dropped by as much as 20%.
Our 2006 study compares three bundles of telecommunications services from incumbents, from
cable companies and from (other) VoIP-based service providers across seven countries.
- Canadians still pay less for wireline services than Americans, though the price gap has decreased
since our last study three years ago.
- A bundle of communications services in the U.S. for heavy users now costs only 16% more than
the same basket in Canada: three years ago Americans were charged 51% more than
their Canadian counterparts. The least expensive incumbent service bundle is offered by Canada’s
SaskTel, even though the Saskatchewan incumbent doesn’t face the same degree of competitive
threat as other Canadian incumbents.
- Prices for high-use, service-rich telecom service bundles have increased in Canada by 27%, (due in
most par to increased broadband and feature pricing), whereas similar offerings in the U.S. have
decreased by 3%.
- Canadian VoIP services providers charge more than U.S. and European VoIP providers for
- Wireline prices in Europe have dropped since 2003 – Euro wireline companies appear to be
sharpening their pencils (and swords!) in order to defray competition from wireless alternative