BCE said CRTC ignored the fact that such regulation discourages the development of new network technologies
BCE, a provider of communications services, has asked Canada’s federal cabinet to confirm that investment in next-generation communications networks should be encouraged as a matter of policy by overturning a decision and companion order by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.
BCE has said that the December 2008 Telecom Decision 2008-117, and March 2009 Telecom Order 2009-111, threaten to slow and even eliminate such network investments in many communities by forcing telecommunications companies to provide competitors with regulated access to their newly constructed next-generation networks, such as the high-speed fiber to the node being rolled out by Bell and other carriers.
According to BCE, in making its decision, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ignored the fact that such extensive wholesale regulation discourages the development of new, multi-billion-dollar network technologies. By inhibiting investments in next-generation networks, the CRTC decision would create a new urban digital divide, in stark contrast to the government’s own policy priorities for the Canadian economy.
BCE has asked the cabinet to address its request on an urgent basis in order to avoid putting a damper on productivity by interfering with the very investments needed to foster economic recovery, such as those being undertaken by Bell and other telecom companies.
George Cope, president and CEO of BCE and Bell, said: As in any other competitive industry in Canada, we should be able to choose who distributes our services and how, be it wholesale, retail, direct or any other creative form of distribution channel. The alternative of regulated access will have significant implications for our network and other investments going forward. Despite current economic conditions, BCE has committed to investing more than $2.5 billion in the Canadian economy in 2009 alone.