Last summer, Bell Canada announced its CEO George Cope was set to retire in January 2020, to be replaced by its chief operating officer, Mirko Bibic. As of today, Bibic has started his role as Bell’s new president and CEO.
Today, Bibic has commented on Canada’s desire for cheap wireless rates, calling the move “really bad public policy.”
Bibic stated his views in an interview on Bell Media’s BNN Bloomberg with Amanda Lang today. According to the new CEO, he said, “If our objective is to have the cheapest communications services in the world, or the G20, or the G8, I think that would be really bad public policy.”
He went on to say, “We’re on the cusp here of a new era in communications, which is really going to power the Canadian economy writ large. So what you want is the highest quality networks if we want to be a productive economy, you want the most coverage possible across the country, you want to connect communities, and, of course, you want affordable services and value for dollar paid.”
Bibic said the CRTC’s recent decision to roll back wholesale rates for broadband internet has affected the company with a $100 million cost impact.
“We really have to step back and pause before we make decisions like [the one the CRTC made],” said Bibic. “We have a choice. These decisions always lead us to a fork in the road: Do we want to encourage investment, competition, and affordable prices? Or, on the other hand, are we just going to have a race for cheapness?”
The Bell CEO said a race for cheapness would “discourage investment” in Canada in both the telecom industry and other industries.
“If you race for the bottom of price, you’re not going to get quality and you’re not going to get coverage,” said Bibic.