Report says $1.68B in network investment will be cut if CRTC decision stands

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Author: Greg O’Brien

TORONTO – Expect network investment to plummet, the growth of the digital economy in Canada to stall and an invasion of well-heeled foreign broadband resellers if the recent CRTC decision on third party internet access wholesale rates is not overturned, says a report published this week by TD Securities.

While saying he expects the decision to be challenged and overturned or at least revised, TD telecom and media analyst Vince Valentini pulls no punches in his analysis, saying the Commission-set wholesale rates and retroactive rebates are bad for the incumbent carriers, their customers and Canada as a whole – and that facilities-based competition must remain a bedrock of the industry and government policy.

Should the decision stand, however, “total investments per annum in wireline/cable infrastructure in 2021 and beyond would be estimated to decline by about $1.68 billion in aggregate for the six publicly-traded telecom and cable companies,” reads his research. Those companies are of course, Bell, Rogers, Telus, Shaw, Quebecor, and Cogeco. The calculation doesn’t take into account the other two incumbents affected, SaskTel and Eastlink.

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