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Bell denied stay in decision allowing smaller companies to sell internet using its fibre networks

The Federal Court of Appeal rejected BCE Inc.’s request to stay a regulatory decision that will allow independent companies to sell Internet services to their customers using its fiber network in Ontario and Quebec.

Friday’s court decision came a day after Bell Canada announced it was cutting 4,800 jobs and could further cut network spending based in part on direction from the CRTC.

It granted Bell’s request for permission to appeal the CRTC’s temporary ruling, but denied the company’s motion to stay that decision pending the outcome of the court process, saying it failed to show it was at risk of irreparable harm.

CBC News has contacted Bell for comment.

The CRTC’s decision last November was aimed at spurring competition for internet services, noting at the time that its review could make that direction permanent and apply it to other provinces. The federal regulator began a five-day hearing Monday as part of that review.

Bell has accused the CRTC of coming up with “predetermined” results when it comes to that review, noting that the commission’s direction so far reduces its incentive to continue building its fiber network.

Bell responded last fall by reducing its network investment plans by $1.1 billion by 2025, including a minimum reduction of $500 million this year, and warns there could be further cost reductions if the company feels it has to get ahead of schedule. regulatory decisions that it considers unfavorable.

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