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Bell Canada responds to regulator by slashing FTTH capex

November 7, 2023

Bell Canada is cutting its fibre spend over the next couple of years by C$1 billion (€0.68bn) in protest over the regulators decision on wholesale network access.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) moved to open up fibre networks run by large operators in the major cities of Ontario and Quebec, and set the prices those big players can charge for access, in a bid to boost competition.

Bell believes this decision is unfair and announced that it will reduce capex by more than C$1 billion in 2024-25. The capex cut comes in addition to a $100 million reduction in spend this year that it implemented in anticipation of the CRTC’s ruling. It says “the CRTC decision to unrelentingly pursue wholesale access at the expense of critical network investment [has lead to these cuts]”.

A CRTC announcement talked up its action as a way to increase choice and affordability of high-speed Internet services.

“The CRTC is acting quickly to improve Internet services competition across Canada,” said CEO Vicky Eatrides. “Today’s initial decision will bring new options to more than five million households. As the CRTC’s review advances, Canadians can expect continued action to increase choice and affordability, while supporting investment in high-quality networks.”

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