Canada is at a crossroads

Date: January 26, 2020

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Canada is the second-largest country in the world, and one of the least densely populated. Yet we have the second-fastest wireless networks in the world.

As a nation, we should be proud. We should hold our heads high. Despite our vast geography and our small population, we lead the world.

But this didn’t just happen. It required the right policies. It required the right investments. It required a partnership between industry and government.

And this partnership is critical to our future. The race to 5G, the next evolution of wireless networks, is not with other carriers. The race to 5G is with other countries – and we want Canada to be one of the first.

We are doing our part to make sure Canadians enjoy the very best of 5G. We are laying the tracks. We are building the foundation.

But we cannot do this alone. We need the right regulation and the right partnership with government. We got here because entrepreneurs like Ted Rogers were able to invest. We got here because regulatory policy supported investment.

Regulation will never be a substitution for innovation. At its best, it is a key to unlock Canada’s digital future. At its worst, it is a barrier that stops innovation, and investment, in its tracks.

Let’s look overseas. Take Europe for example. In some markets the government backs companies that ride on the networks of other carriers, at a vastly discounted price – companies that don’t invest in their country’s national infrastructure. This approach suppresses investment. It stifles innovation and it sabotages network quality. In short, it stalls a nation’s economic prosperity.

As we enter the world of 5G, it is more critical than ever to invest. And it is more critical for Canada to invest given our sheer land mass and sparse population.

As a country, we need to spend significantly more than other G7 countries to lead the world. Looking at the G7, you could fit five Germanys into Canada – plus five Japans, five Frances, five Italys and five United Kingdoms – and Canada would still be bigger!

Canada is at a crossroads, with an ambitious innovation agenda and a vision to lead in the digital economy. We want to help make this vision a reality.

As a nation we need policy that spurs growth and innovation. We need policy that incents Canadian companies with a track record of investing. We need policy that ensures Canada can compete with global players. We need policy that supports one of our nation’s most precious resources – our network technology.

 

FROM A SPEECH TO SHAREHOLDERS, APRIL 18, 2019

Author

Joe Natale, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rogers Communications Inc.

 

Engaging Canadians | 2018/2019 Annual Report
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