Toronto – Fiber optic, a leading supplier of low-cost high-speed broadband in Canada, is celebrating a record $5 billion market capitalization.
The company’s new $100 million acquisition by Canadian technology giant BCE means the Toronto-based provider is now one of the world’s biggest players in the sector.
But as the company ramps up to become the largest fiber provider in Canada with new offerings such as fiber optics, the company is also becoming a target for the provincial and federal governments.
The Globe and Mail is reporting that in Ontario, the province is looking to ban new competitors from entering the market, a move that could impact the market.
“If we don’t have competition, we don.
And if we don to compete, then what are we going to do to compete?” said Rob McLean, executive director of the Ontario Technology Council.
“And that’s what’s happening in Canada right now, and that’s going to have an impact on the industry.”
McLean is a veteran of the telecom sector.
He is a co-founder and former chairman of the Canadian Telecom Association.
He has spent the last 15 years in the telecom industry, most recently as president of Telecommunication Technologies Canada.
“The biggest impediment to entry into the broadband market is provincial laws and regulations that say you have to be in a particular market.
And they’re very strict,” said McLean.
“You have to have a certain geographic market.
You have to also have a regulatory framework that’s designed to encourage and encourage the industry to invest in the infrastructure.”
Ontario is one of just five provinces where fibre optic broadband is not currently permitted.
It is also one of a few jurisdictions that have not banned competitors from entry into broadband.
However, McLean said Ontario’s new rules are only intended to protect consumers and prevent the creation of monopoly players.
“There is nothing in the regulations that says you can’t make a competitor out of yourself,” said MacLean.
That’s a problem because the provincial government is spending billions to expand the network and increase the speed of service in the province.
In Canada, the government says it is “proud” to be Canada’s leading provider of broadband to residents of Ontario, with more than 500,000 homes and businesses connected to the Internet.
But it is also taking steps to crack down on the growth of online competitors.
In May, the federal government passed legislation that could ban all online services and platforms in the country.
“We will take steps to ensure that these companies cannot be in the same market as the Canadian taxpayer,” said Communications Minister Christian Paradis.
“That’s why we are introducing the proposed Telecommunications Competition Act, which will ban online platforms from being entered into the Canadian market.”
Paradis’ legislation, which is still before Parliament, would also impose a $10,000 fine on anyone found to be using an online platform to circumvent the Communications Act, something the province already has in place.
The Globe and the Mail has reached out to the Ontario Government for comment on its plans.