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April 30, 2015



In Canada, Bell charges a "touchtone" fee...I don't think that there is anyone left with a rotary/analogue phone anymore, and I think by default you can only call Bell on a about the ridiculousness of the corporate world and what they will charge you for...

Peter G

Hmm. Last week my wife complained of dropped calls on our bundled cable phone and internet service. I spent two whole minutes on the phone while they remotely diagnosed the problem and another two to book a technician to come and change the wonky modem. That's Cogeco which we switched to in lieu of Bell. Not the first easily resolved issue either. There were some storm damaged wires last year. No charge for either repair. I could get used to this.

Not intending to taunt you but the main providers in Canada are all independent corporations that are government regulated. Seems to work reasonably well. Want a tip? Labor on behalf of reducing or eliminating cancellation fees. It's been amazing how fast they hop to it when they know they are going to lose you if they don't.


I have worked in space, consumer and automotive electronics. In my experience there's been an enormous change in all aspects of electronic hardware, regulatory requirements, and possibilities opened by the decommissioning of old systems that free up, at this point, mostly broadcast bandwidth such as that used by TV, radio, and phones. There is a great deal of elbowing and eye gouging in play to grab broadcast resources and have the public still pay for them, and constant technological changes result.

Some countries are not averse to letting government experts oversee the changes, and they generally go well there. Though I have no personal experience with cell phones in Europe, I've read their implementation went smoothly and service has been fair to good since nearly the beginning. Not so in North America. Possibly others remember the various incompatible mobile phone technologies of the 80's and 90's that went by the wayside as the "free" market squabble came up with the only system that made sense anyway. I know of only one other that survives. That is Iridium, a system that bounces off satellites rather than cell towers and is now used almost exclusively by governments. The industries here are controlled by a wide variety of legacy agencies, both private and public, and of course lobbyists for various corporate interests, which is to say they are not controlled in any meaningful way whatsoever. On top of all the privacy and security concerns no one agency understands how everything is interconnected. This will not be settled soon. To once more lean on a pithy quote: "The Americans will always do the right thing, after they've exhausted all the alternatives." - Winston Churchill

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