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Bell CEO Warns Internet Build Could Slow if CRTC Decisions Are Unfavourable

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Bell CEO Warns of Potential Internet Build Slowdown Due to Unfavourable CRTC Decisions

Bell CEO, Mirko Bibic, has cautioned that the progress of BCE Inc.'s fibre internet build could be delayed in 2024 if regulatory uncertainties persist. Bell Canada is awaiting the decision of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) regarding the rates that smaller competitors pay major telecom companies for network access. Bibic expressed concerns that a decision favoring smaller players could have adverse effects on competition within Canada's telecom sector. He emphasized that if the decision does not align with Bell's interests, the company may slow down its internet build. Bibic believes that Bell's fibre deployments increase competition, benefiting customers with improved service, value, and lower prices. The ongoing review by the CRTC aims to enhance competition and reduce consumer costs. It will also determine whether larger carriers should provide smaller competitors with access to their fibre-to-the-home networks to enhance internet speeds. Bibic's criticism of increased regulation and interventionist approaches reflects his concerns about the direction taken by the federal government and the CRTC. Despite these challenges, Bell remains focused on operational efficiencies, cost optimization, and digitization efforts to reduce operating costs. In the third quarter, BCE reported a profit of $640 million, with operating revenue totaling $6.08 billion. Looking ahead, Bell will maintain discipline, monitor the macroeconomic environment, and assess the competitive landscape. The company aims to add customers by targeting new Canadians, as immigration targets are expected to increase in the coming years. Bell's wireless division added 142,886 net postpaid mobile phone subscribers in the third quarter, showcasing its commitment to growth and customer acquisition. While regulatory uncertainties pose potential challenges, Bell remains determined to navigate the evolving landscape and continue providing quality services to its customers.

Impact of Potential Internet Build Slowdown on New Businesses

The warning from Bell's CEO, Mirko Bibic, about a potential slowdown in the company's fibre internet build due to unfavorable CRTC decisions could have far-reaching impacts on new businesses, particularly those in the tech sector.

Dependence on Reliable Internet Infrastructure

Many new businesses, especially startups, rely heavily on a robust and reliable internet infrastructure. Any slowdown in the build of such infrastructure could potentially impact their operations, growth, and competitiveness.

Impact on Competition

Moreover, Bibic's concerns about the adverse effects on competition within the telecom sector, if the CRTC decision favors smaller players, could also affect new businesses. If larger carriers slow down their internet build, it could limit the options available to new businesses, potentially leading to higher costs and less reliable service.
Looking Ahead
Despite these potential challenges, new businesses must remain adaptable and resilient. They should monitor the evolving regulatory landscape and assess their options to ensure they can continue to operate effectively and grow. In an increasingly digital world, access to reliable and high-speed internet is not just a luxury, but a necessity for businesses. Therefore, the decisions made by telecom companies and regulatory bodies like the CRTC can have significant implications for new businesses.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/telecom/bell-ceo-warns-internet-build-could-slow-crtc-decisions
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