The Rogers outage earlier this month highlighted a number of things for Canadians — one of which is the Shaw/Rogers merger is not a good idea, whatsoever. And it never was, but this was just another point to add to the list of why this shouldn’t happen. Two giants like that should never be allowed to merge and while the outage has once again brought forward discussion around killing the deal, why did it even take that?
Let’s begin there with the outage that left millions across the country without service for the whole day, and some well into two or three days. Some still aren’t connecting like they were pre-outage and that’s just unacceptable from a corporation like Rogers. People were left without service to call for necessary things like ambulances and police, and others who rely on their phones for work purposes were similarly out of luck.
And sure, some people on Rogers were unaffected because they aren’t glued to their phones — and that’s fine too, but even those people should be upset about this entire ordeal. The fact Canadians still haven’t been 100 per cent updated on what caused it is also concerning — and who knows, this could happen in short order once again. I don’t know about you, but a promise from Rogers that they’ve taken care of it and it won’t happen again rings pretty hollow. Studies are ongoing into what caused it and hopefully, Canadians are kept in the loop on this because it would be easy to pull a smoke and mirrors trick.
The government has also started working on directing the other major telecom companies to reach agreements on emergency roaming and assisting each other during these types of outages. That’s at least some good news as it won’t leave people completely without service if this were to happen again to Rogers or to Shaw, Bell, Telus, or any others.
This just goes to show once again Canadians should have a choice when they’re choosing their providers — not just one mega-corporation that buys up everyone else. So far, the merger has continued to be held up and hopefully, this is as far as it gets. Competition in the market is a good thing, and with the price Canadians pay for their phone bills (which is absolutely ridiculous), they should be able to shop around for the best deal for them. Mergers like this help no one except the higher-ups who will see the money flowing into their pockets. How can anyone say this would be better for Canadians?
If it did happen, would anyone be shocked to see their new Rogers phone bills increased to cover the costs needed to buy Shaw? We sure wouldn’t — and neither does the Competition Bureau who have listed similar concerns. Cheap promises that “there’s nothing to worry about” and “phone bills will remain similar to what they are now” isn’t good enough. As mentioned before, those bills are already sky high and another major increase is highway robbery. And Canadians deserve better than that.