MTS on why Canadian telecom is lagging behind: “Competition, or the lack there of”

mtslogoDuring the 2009 Canadian Telecom Summit MTS Allstream CEO Pierre Blouin said they have a goal to be the “best performing communications service provider in Canada”. He stated they have a strong balance sheet and poised to overcome the current stress on the economy: “…we have technology, we have the power of innovation. We have the fortunate regulatory framework that spurs competition for the benefit of Canadian consumers and businesses. And telecom, as I think you all know, has an important role to play in all cycles of the economy. But perhaps more so than ever our industry has the opportunity to lead the way.”

“For all the promise telecom holds in Canada for Canadians, I think we have some work to do to realize its potential. Canada is lagging behind Europe, Asia and the US in terms of investment, in terms of the adoption of leading edge technologies and sometimes pricing. At previous summits we’ve talked about Canada’s poor ranking for wireless penetration among developed nations, but we are fairing no better in terms of access to broadband internet services. It started well, after initially leading the world in penetration, Canada has plunged from 2nd to 10th in the past 6 years. Why then if telecom hold so much promise in terms of productivity and innovation for Canadian business are we falling so far behind. In one word – Competition, or the lack there of. The competitive framework for Canadian telecom was formed back in the mid 1990’s.”

He stated that with the recent AWS spectrum auction last year that raised billions for the government, that those new entrants are still in an early stage and hopefully will bring Canadians more choice and better pricing.