Connections +
News

Bell calls for national ICT strategy and a “next generation” regulatory regime reliant on market forces

Bell Canada today submitted its recommendations to the federal government's Telecommunications Policy Review Panel.


August 15, 2005  


Print this page

Bell Canada today submitted its recommendations to the federal government’s Telecommunications Policy Review Panel.

The submission, which includes the views and analyses of international experts, notes that an estimated 56% of the productivity gap between Canada and the U.S., stems from more limited use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) in Canada.

Bell’s recommendations focus on the role of a more competitive and robust telecommunications industry in closing that gap.

“Telecommunications is experiencing profound change at an unprecedented pace,” said Lawson Hunter, executive vice president and chief corporate officer, BCE and Bell Canada.

“An updated policy direction is needed to ensure the industry’s continued role as a key enabler of Canada’s overall economic performance.”

The submission states that addressing this challenge requires a public policy that promotes accelerated awareness, development and use of ICT. Bell said its recommended approach reflects best practices being developed in other countries, as well as the lessons learned from regulatory reforms adopted for other industries in Canada.

The new policy would establish specific targets for ICT-related research and development, investment and adoption, strengthen government’s role as a model user of ICT in its own operations and procurement process, as well as in healthcare and adopt a regulatory reform that relies largely on market forces.

“Public policy needs to focus on setting broad principles and frameworks, rather than setting detailed rules on services and prices,” Hunter said. “The right policy framework is one that will deliver meaningful choices in innovative, affordable and high-quality services to Canadian consumers and businesses.”

The submission is founded on the premise that ICT innovation and adoption depends on open competition to drive the development and delivery of new products and services to Canadians, Bell said.

Bell said that ICT policy should include “next generation” regulation for telecommunications that relies on market forces to the maximum extent possible. Industry regulators would continue to address abuse of market power, social needs (such as services for the disabled) and technical matters (such as interconnection).

A 64-page summary of the submission to the Telecom Policy Review panel is available at www.bce.ca.