Youth Talk Mobile

TitleYouth Talk Mobile
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Shade, L. R.
Affiliation (1st Author)Faculty of Information University of Toronto
Section or WGCommunication Policy and Technology
DateFri 28 June
Slot CodeCPTF4b
Slot Code (Keyword)CPTF4b
Time of Session16:00-17:30
Session TitlePANEL: Making Interventions in Uncertain Times: The Development of a Mandatory Code for Canada’s Wireless Industry
Submission ID5975

Submission made as part of the panel proposal:  Making Interventions in Uncertain Times: The Development of a Mandatory Code for Canada’s Wireless Industry (Catherine Middleton, Ryerson University, as panel submitter)The shape of Canada’s wireless industry, which still evidences high costs to consumers when compared to other global markets, has had especially important ramifications for more vulnerable populations when it comes to accessing the wireless communications infrastructure. One such population is the youth market, who are paradoxically the targets of much wireless service advertising and yet do not often enjoy the levels of disposable income required to fully participate in the range of voice, text, and data services promoted by wireless providers. In a study with young Canadians aged 20 to 24, participants reported a general distrust of service providers and their advertising. Skepticism about the advertising, pricing schemes, and customer service of mobile providers came from participants’ experience with wireless companies both domestically and abroad. Some participants had experience dealing with mobile providers in other countries while travelling, for example, and by comparison, they found Canadian service overly expensive, convoluted in terms of pricing schemes and feature packages, and unreliable in customer service. These consumer issues were important to include in or intervention to the CRTC consultation because they provide a more nuanced picture of how youth – often framed as early and voracious adopters of wireless mobile technologies – also struggle with the unfair pricing and contracts that result from the shape of Canada’ wireless industry.

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