Bernie playing the dispersed population card

It’s his job, of course, but it is quite fun to watch.  Former Premier turned telecom lobbyist on why we pay more than twice as much for cell phone charges:

He says the federal fees firms pay to access the airwaves are unreasonable, and providing coverage to a vast country less densely populated than its southern neighbour is expensive. “Spectrum is one component but it is not the only component,” Lord answered, pointing to the challenge of serving a relatively small population spread over a country larger than Europe.

You have to give it to the telecos for their ability to come up with these kinds of arguments.  Canada’s population is actually quite densely populated.  Almost 55% of the Canadian population lives in just 10 urban areas.  85% of the population live in urban centres.  The government is spending billions to get telecom infrastructure to the rural and remote populations.

But government folks listen up.  You can take your cue from Bernie Lord.  “The challenge of serving a relatively small popoulation spread over a country larger than Europe” is why we pay more taxes.   It’s also why we pay more for roads.  It’s why we pay more for electricity (getting it to those vast rural areas).

Truth is we pay less taxes than Europe, we pay about the same for roads and we pay less for other utilities such as electricity.   Lord’s argument doesn’t hold water.

But it is intuitive enough for most people to nod their heads.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Bernie playing the dispersed population card

  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t believe there has ever been any sign that Bernard Lord was all that smart. He’s great bilingual though. Which appears to have links.

  2. Gary says:

    I’ll bet he’s smarter than a frustrated unilingual civil servant that hides behind his computer.

  3. mikel says:

    And actually, its especially problematic when he gives a reason that is different from the reason telecom lobbyists give. According to them, their rates are reasonable, the biggest difference is simply that canadian contracts give far more minutes than available in other countries. What they don’t say is why it is that you can’t get a contract with fewer minutes if you want.

    Given that much of canada still has no access for cellphones its a silly argument to give. There are huge sections of New Brunswick where you still can’t get a signal.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ironic BS. This is what happens when talking heads are armed with enough information to be dangerius.

    High density areas are problematic for wireless providers as they push the limits of bandwidth capacity (narraw guardbands and separation of transmit and receive signals). It usually results in higher end equipment needs to effectively handle call density and higher costs.

    You could make a compelling arguement that high density areas are actually more expensive to service than sparse population.

    The main reason for high cell costs? Greed. Remember when long distance calls would cost a dollar a minute and now they are 2 cents? There was no change in population density or technology for that price drop. The thing that changed was something called competition.

  5. Rob says:

    ” Remember when long distance calls would cost a dollar a minute and now they are 2 cents? There was no change in population density or technology for that price drop. The thing that changed was something called competition.”

    The advent of microwave and fibre optic transmission opening up massive amounts of bandwidth of course had nothing to do w/ the price drop.

Comments are closed.