...We're all being gouged, but rural Canadians like me suffer more. Nobody wants to sell me the inexpensive emergencies-only cell service we're supposed to be getting now that more telecom companies are permitted. Techies have told me to phone Rogers and threaten to go to another company, but it hasn't worked. And I can't go to cheaper services like Wind Mobile because they're only available in the biggest cities.
We could cut costs by ditching our home phone -- but there again, rural Canadians are mostly out of luck. Even the major wireless companies' service is spotty at best.
At least I have high-speed Internet service -- but completely by chance. Thousands of rural Canadians still have no access to affordable high speed -- a crime in times when it's difficult to be either a student or a small business operator without it.
Never mind, the Canadian Radio- television and Telecommunications Commission said last week. Urban customers are going to receive from $25 to $90 rebates from Bell Canada, but rural residents in 110 communities are getting expanded Internet service -- by 2014. Wow. Hope you can hang onto your business until then.
Last week, Naguib Sawiris, the billionaire Egyptian backer of Wind Mobile, reportedly called Canada a "telecom backwater" and the three major operators -- Telus, Bell and Rogers -- a "joke," too big and too slow.
But he could have been referring to the whole range of communication services Canadians buy. And we do it mostly without complaint since there aren't many options. We're sheep.