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September 26, 2003
OTTAWA -- BCE Inc. believes the process proposed today by the Federal Government in its continuing review of the foreign ownership rules for communications companies is appropriate given current industry conditions.
"The communications industry is in a period of rapid, sweeping change," said Michael Sabia, President and Chief Executive Officer of BCE Inc. "Driven largely by new technologies, this change is reshaping our industry. Traditional boundaries within the industry have fallen. Telcos compete not just with other telcos, but with cablecos. Cablecos compete with satellite companies. Wireless against wireless and against wireline. Software giants like Microsoft and systems integrators like IBM are now entering the communications field."
"We believe that in the face of this transformation, the government's proposed process is prudent, giving itself time to properly examine what is a very complex issue. The rules we establish today must serve not just for tomorrow, but for many years to come. It's important we get it right, important that Canada can maintain its leadership position in this industry."
In its submission last February to a government committee examining the issue, BCE supported the removal of ownership restrictions following a thorough review of the issues. The company pointed out that Canada operates one of the most successful telecom industries in the world that features widespread access, low prices, competitive markets and sustained capital investment. Those benefits must be maintained, the company said.
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