The fibre advantage
Bell is rebuilding Canada’s communications backbone with fast fibre connections, and we’re past the midway point of this historic program with links to approximately 5.6 million homes and businesses completed by the end of 2020. Our unparalleled fibre footprint allows Bell to realize operational benefits including in subscriber growth and market share, customer retention, and installation and repair costs.
Our secure and scalable fibre infrastructure now connects approximately 92% of our wireless network cell sites, enabling Bell’s next-generation 5G wireless network with the unmatched backhaul capacity to handle IoT, Smart City and other enhanced digital opportunities, as well as our Wireless Home Internet (WHI) service for rural Canada.
Bell’s ambitious plan to accelerate our fibre, rural and 5G rollouts with an additional $1 billion to $1.2 billion in capital investment over the next 2 years will further drive these competitive efficiencies. Funded in part by the sale of Bell data centres to Equinix in 2020, the program also leverages the federal capital cost allowance program that results in cash tax savings that can be reinvested in further infrastructure development.
A strong financial foundation
BCE’s solid financial position, including significant liquidity, a strong balance sheet and fully funded pension plans, underpins Bell’s ability to invest and compete in an evolving communications sector. We’re dedicated to making the most of our scale and resources by ensuring operational excellence across our business, reducing our costs, supporting new investment and driving a strong marketplace performance.
As we re-engineered our operations to ensure we continued to deliver for Canadians throughout the challenges of COVID-19, we also reduced our total operating costs by 3.7% in 2020. It’s a reflection of our team’s strict focus on cost management: leveraging the efficiency of fibre and other new technologies; minimizing discretionary expenses at all levels; finding synergies across our business, including the rapid redeployment of team members to new roles during COVID; and renegotiating contracts with a wide range of suppliers.
Thriving in today’s communications marketplace requires an unprecedented focus on operational excellence, and Bell is delivering with disciplined cost management and the operational innovation necessary to advance how Canadians connect with each other and the world.