In news that’s sure to please Canadians everywhere (particularly those of us still trapped in 3-year contracts with our wireless providers), the country’s most powerful telecomm companies have lost their court appeal over the final implementation date of the CRTC’s national wireless code.

The code, which came into effect in December 2013, states that wireless providers must spread out the cost of phone subsidies over no more than a 2-year period. Previously, consumers could sign a 3-year contract and subsidize the cost of their device accordingly. If they wanted to cancel, or get a new device before their contract was up, this meant strict cancellation fees.

However, as of June 3, 2015, the wireless code will apply to all agreements, meaning those who signed a 3-year contract before the code was implemented in December 2013 will see their remaining device balance subsidy waived. Essentially, they will be able to walk away from their existing 3-year contracts penalty-free.

Shortly after the wireless code was first announced in 2013, the Big Three, plus smaller players like MTS and SaskTel, initiated a court challenge over the code’s final implementation date. The case has taken almost 2 years to work its way through the courts, but on Tuesday, the hammer came down: the carriers’ challenge was dismissed and they were ordered to pay unspecified legal fees.

With so many customers free to abandon their contracts in less than two weeks time, we can expect to see a massive increase in competition between the wireless carriers as they vie to either keep their existing customers or poach new ones from their rivals.

Will the implementation of the wireless code on June 3 affect you? Will you be making the jump to a new carrier? Share in the comments and discuss on our Internet, Landline and Wireless Phone forum.


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