81% think neither foreign nor Canadian companies should be favoured in wireless auction: poll
A new poll suggests 81 per cent of Canadians would prefer if neither foreign- nor Canadian-owned companies are favoured in the upcoming wireless spectrum auction.
The government auction could allow a foreign company like Verizon to enter the Canadian marketplace, and let Canadian companies buy blocks of the spectrum to improve services for their consumers.
Only four blocks of the wireless spectrum will be auctioned. Under the government’s rules, a foreign company would be able to buy two of the blocks. Canada’s three major telecoms would then bid on the remaining two blocks.
The survey, conducted by Nanos Research for Bell Canada (which owns CTV) and Telus Corp., asked respondents which of the following would be in the best interest of consumers, and the results were:
Allow Canadian-owned and foreign-owned companies to bid for and win airwaves without favouring either: 81 per cent
Allow foreign-owned companies the advantage of bidding for and winning more than Canadian-owned companies: 10 per cent
Unsure: 9 per cent
“We think it’s important that Ottawa hears that more than 80 per cent of Canadians disagree with special advantages for any wireless company, and prefer a level competitive playing field,” Bell said in a statement Tuesday.
In terms of general competition, most respondents said they would prefer if the government favoured Canadian companies.
When asked who should be given an advantage in the Canadian marketplace, only two per cent thought it should be foreign companies:
Canadian-owned: 70 per cent
Neither: 25 per cent
Unsure: 3 per cent
Foreign-owned: 2 per cent
Overall, respondents were split evenly on whether they supported foreign-owned telecoms entering the Canadian market to compete for business:
Support: 27 per cent
Somewhat support: 19 per cent
Somewhat oppose: 17 per cent
Oppose: 33 per cent
Unsure: 5 per cent
The poll results are from a random telephone survey of 2,000 Canadians, conducted between August 12 and 19.
The margin of error is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.