Rogers speeds up network development due to greater regulatory certainty

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Rogers will be upping the pace to develop networks across Canada, attributing its decision to greater regulatory certainty.

Under the new plan, the company now promises to build or enhance network connectivity in 750 more communities–or 500,000 households–by the end of 2021.

The announcement on June 23 came just weeks after the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) cancelled plans to lower wholesale internet rates for independent internet service providers (ISPs). The move was seen as a win for Canada’s incumbent cable carriers and sparked heavy criticisms from regional ISPs.

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“As Canada recovers, increased regulatory certainty and support for investment by facilities-based providers will help ensure that Rogers continues to bring critical, next-generation infrastructure to all parts of Canada, including rural and remote communities,” said Rogers chief executive officer Joe Natale in the announcement.

Rogers noted the company’s focus will be on delivering 5G across Canada, improving connectivity along critical roadways and rural areas, as well as deploying fibre internet networks.

Additionally, Rogers said in the release that it spent CA$2.8 billion in the past year to build or upgrade its networks in over 1,000 communities.

Other incumbents have also stepped up their pace. In May, Bell announced an additional CA$500 million funding to its capital investment program through 2022, bringing the total up to CA$1.7 billion.

But the independent ISPs are feeling the brunt. For example, TekSavvy, an Ontario internet service provider, withdrew from the 3,500 MHz 5G wireless spectrum auction and is replanning its investment strategy.

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