Bell pledges an additional $500 million for its capital investment plan

The carrier says the additional funding comes amid 'greater regulatory certainty'

Bell has pledged an additional $500 million for its accelerated capital investment plan in response to recent regulatory decisions.

The Montreal-based national carrier announced the investment plan in February, which originally consisted of $1 billion to $1.2 billion in additional network funding. The amount of funding has now been increased to $1.7 billion.

Bell says the increase in funding follows “the CRTC’s recent decision and ongoing government policy support for facilities-based competition and investment.”

Last Thursday, the CRTC backtracked on implementing its lowered wholesale rates from 2019 and decided to make its interim rates from 2016 permanent. In April, the CRTC rejected a broad wholesale MVNO model and opted for a facilities-based approach.

“The policy approach of the federal government and the CRTC is an expression of confidence in our country’s future and the importance of network investment to ensure consumers and businesses have access to next-generation communications services in a digital economy,” said Bell CEO Mirko Bibic.

“We expect communications providers of all kinds to also step up with investments and innovations of their own to drive competition and deliver outstanding value to Canadians nationwide.”

Bell says the investment will increase the number of wireline and wireless connections in rural and urban areas over the next two years.