British Columbians See No True Champion in Wireless Industry Debate

A large majority of BC residents want to see more competition, but a foreign carrier is only appealing to half of them.

Vancouver, BC – British Columbians have been paying attention to recent discussions about the state of Canada’s wireless industry, and most believe there should be more competition in this space, a new Insights West poll has found.

The online survey of a representative provincial sample shows that 53 per cent of British Columbians have followed the debate over wireless competition “very closely” or “moderately closely.”

Seven-in-ten British Columbians (71%) believe there is not enough competition in Canada’s wireless industry, while 12 per cent think the current amount of competition is correct and just one-in-twenty (5%) consider that there is too much competition right now.

Roughly four-in-five British Columbians agree with some of the arguments that have been outlined during the debate over wireless competition, including the notion that Canadians pay some of the highest wireless rates in the developed world (82%), that it is unfair for three companies to control most of the wireless services in the country (81%) and that it would be important for Canada to have a fourth major player in the industry (79%).

Other arguments, however, do not enjoy massive backing. Half of British Columbians (49%) say they would like to see a large foreign wireless company operating in Canada, and just over two-in-five (43%) agree with the federal government’s assertion that consumers have more choices on wireless services than they had one year ago.

The most dramatic arguments espoused by the two sides are not connecting with the population. Across the province, 39 per cent of residents believe that the federal government is trying to protect Canadians against overcharging and fostering more competition. Fewer British Columbians agree with the idea that Canada’s wireless companies are trying to defend Canadian jobs and industry from foreign interests (33%) and with the notion that the government is unfairly favouring new entrants into the wireless space and affecting incumbents (31%).

This apparent stalemate is also outlined when British Columbians are asked which one of the two factions has the best interests of wireless consumers in mind. One-in-five residents (21%) select the federal government, one-in-ten (10%) pick the wireless industry, and more than two thirds (69%) do not regard either as their champion.

“The appetite for more competition in the wireless industry is substantial, but few British Columbians are looking at the federal government as the saviour of consumers,” said Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “There is no outright winner in this conflict, as most residents cannot select either of the two opponents as the one that will defend their interests.”

 

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has ten full-time and five part-time employees.

 

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from September 26 to October 2, 2013, among 704 British Columbians who are aged 18+ and are Your Insights panel members. YourInsights.ca is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age and gender. While statistical margins of error are arguably not applicable to online panels/online studies of this nature, we have assumed that the same margins of error apply as if it were a true unweighted random probability sample with a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty. To view the detailed data tabulations, click here.

 

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490

mariocanseco@insightswest.com