Bell wants end to regulation in high-speed fibre

Bell Canada says it’s time for the Canadian government to stop regulating its business in “the highly competitive market for high-speed, fibre-based digital services” so customers can “realize the full benefits of competition, including market-driven prices.”

Bell recently said it is asking the CRTC to forbear from regulating digital network access services at DS-3 speeds and higher, special routing services at DS-3 speeds and higher, high-speed metro services and future services that fall under the same umbrella.

“It would not, however, include any digital services below DS-3 and those that would be used to connect to the PSTN, as well as analogue network access services, or competitor, CDNA services,” said Lawson Hunter, executive vice-president of Bell’s parent company BCE Inc.

Asked if customers would see higher prices as a result of forbearance, Hunter said no. “Prices have been falling for these services. That’s one of our concerns, something which we think reflects how much competition there is out there. As a matter of fact, we recently filed applications to reduce our tariffs for some of these DNA-type services by as much as 54 percent.

“You might say, ‘If you did that, why are you seeking forbearance?'” Hunter continued. “The problem we have is we have to get approval every time we do that. It doesn’t give us the flexibility to respond to the current market pricing.”

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