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    Layton wants some cellphone fees eliminated  

News Staff

    January 19, 2008  

Federal NDP leader Jack Layton wants to see some cellphone user fees eliminated

He pointed in particular at the 75-cent monthly fee to access 911 and the monthly system access fee, usually about $6.95.

Layton said according to statistics from the Seaboard Group, an average Canadian is paying about one-third more for their cellphone than an average American.

"We've proposed that the CRTC mandate be changed so that the CRTC can properly regulate these companies," he told reporters in Vancouver on Friday.

Some have suggested that Canada open up to foreign cellphone service providers to provide competition, which would then lower prices.

"I don't see why we need big American multinationals or European multinationals to come in to solve our problems for us," Layton retorted.

The phone companies themselves don't think there is a problem.

"I think the Canadian cellphone industry is a big success story," said Shawn Hall of Telus.

Compared to other countries, Canadians pay just above the average for typical phone usage.

There are two areas where Canadians pay more than Americans:

If you send data, emails or text message, or
If you make a lot of phone calls.
Americans can buy 6,000 minutes for $199, but Canadians can get only 1,000 minutes for $150.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Dag Sharman


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