Can Bell Canada Stay Competitive? Alec Says No.

Colleague Alec Saunders had an action-speaks-louder-than-words post yesterday that read my mind perfectly.

I had exactly the same reaction as Alec after reading Bell Canada's current position on infrastructure spending in the Globe & Mail.

Basically, the storyline is that Bell does not plan to pursue a FTTH - fiber to the home - strategy to deliver the high end speeds to stay on par or get ahead of the cablecos. They're taking the prudent approach in balancing the Capex required to upgrade their networks versus the fiscal realities that privatization is about to impose on them. It really is a rock and a hard place scenario, and Bell ultimately seems to be playing it safe.

Too safe for Alec's liking - mine too. So much so for Alec that his post was a public declaration that Bell will not be able to meet his needs, and he's making the switch from DSL to cable. I just had to share this with you as I think Alec speaks to an issue that may come to haunt Bell.

Their rationale is that Bell's plans for DSL and fiber will provide sufficient speeds - up to 10 Mbps - for what the market needs. Hmm. That may hold for the general population, but a few years from now, that number is going to sound like it's from a bygone era. Maybe this means that IPTV is not in their plans now and that they'll rely more on Expressvu for video. Or maybe they're going to surprise us or change their plans as market conditions dictate, but for now, this doesn't sound like the way to go for a company that more than ever needs to be on the leading edge.

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