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Manitoba Premier Says CRTC to Blame for Bell’s Decision to Cut Back Rural Internet

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The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decision to decrease wholesale broadband rates retroactive to 2016, has upset major internet service providers.

Bell, for example, said the rate cut would impact its ability to expand its wireless rural internet program, saying it would cut expansion by 20%, affecting roughly 200,000 households across the country.

Manitoba Progressive Conservative Leader and premier, Brian Pallister is pointing blame at the CRTC for causing Bell to turn back its rural internet expansion plans, reports CBC News.

“We are still far ahead of where we were. I would also tell you, of course, I am also disappointed when I hear the decision of Bell MTS, but that being said I am most disappointed with the decision of the CRTC, which has caused this consequence,” said Pallister.

The official opposition fired back at the premier, with Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont saying “The Pallister government has just basically handed stuff to [Bell] MTS and said, ‘Well, you can do whatever you want,’ and whatever they wanted was not providing service in rural areas,” adding “It’s amazing [Pallister] would blame the CRTC.”

Selkirk NDP candidate Mitch Obach said, “It’s clear Pallister’s choice to cheerlead the Bell-MTS merger was more about helping his corporate friends in Toronto make money than sticking up for rural Manitoba families,” emphasizing how Pallister is supporting the Bell decision to cut back rural internet services to Manitobans.

Pallister made his comments at a recent campaign stop, ahead of the upcoming Manitoba provincial election set for September 10, 2019.

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