Bell Canada Cuts Spending On Their Fibre Rollouts… And They Blame The CRTC

You might recall that I posted a story about Bell allegedly slowing down the rollouts of their fibre projects. And that when I asked Bell about that, they said that they had nothing to announce at the moment.

That changed with this press release:

Bell today announced its intention to reduce capital expenditures by over $1 billion in 2024-25, including a minimum of $500 to $600 million in 2024, money the company had planned to invest in bringing high-speed fibre Internet to hundreds of thousands of additional homes and businesses in rural, suburban and urban communities.

This reduction is in addition to Bell decreasing its 2023 capital expenditure budget by $100 million in anticipation of the CRTC decision to unrelentingly pursue wholesale access at the expense of critical network investment.

Bell’s fibre network is now available to over seven million homes and businesses. Prior to the CRTC’s decision, Bell’s near-term plan was to build high-speed fibre to nine million locations by the end of 2025. Bell will now re-consider pending builds in all communities where it had planned to expand, and will reduce its 2025 build target from nine million to 8.3 million locations.

Rolling back fibre network expansion is a direct result of the CRTC’s decision. Today’s decision forces Bell to open up its fibre network in Ontario and Quebec but does not mandate access to fibre-to-the-premises networks in western Canada where there are over three million fibre locations passed. If the intent of the decision is to benefit consumers then it is arbitrary and capricious to leave western Canadian consumers behind. When Bell enters a community with high-speed fibre Internet, it increases competition, and customers benefit from better service, better value and lower prices.

The CRTC decision that Bell is referring to is this one. The TL:DR is that the CRTC is going to make Bell and TELUS give access to independent competitors to sell internet services over their fibre networks in Ontario and Quebec. And clearly Bell doesn’t like that. And as a result, you get this situation. And to be honest, this press release has the feel of a two year old throwing their toys out of the baby carriage.

Bell can have an issue with something that the CRTC does, and that’s fine. There are ways of expressing that displeasure that Bell can use. But holding their customers and potential customers hostage should never be on the list. The fact that Bell immediately went to the hostage option is pathetic. It really doesn’t paint them in the best light and they should really reconsider their choices when it comes to this CRTC decision. Bell may have the best tech around, but as I have said previously, their customer service needs work, and this tendency for Bell to make their present and future customers hostages when they aren’t happy with the CRTC needs to stop. Otherwise they may find that this may come back to bite them.

One Response to “Bell Canada Cuts Spending On Their Fibre Rollouts… And They Blame The CRTC”

  1. David Johnson Says:

    You think? I hope it comes back and takes a huge chunk out of you know where…..
    For years these guys have been crying a river and taking public funds, their only goal being to cement a monopoly in the sector. Well too bad…….you’ve been sucking at the teat long enough……

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