MONTRÉAL, Aug. 4, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell today announced a large-scale investment in broadband infrastructure as part of the Ontario Accelerated High Speed Internet Program (AHSIP). Bell is investing over $650 million in partnership with a Government of Ontario investment of $484 million for this historic program.

Bell to expand fibre Internet access to over 117,000 homes and businesses throughout Ontario (CNW Group/Bell Canada)

Bell will deploy its all-fibre network to over 80,000 homes and businesses in underserved regions across Ontario as part of AHSIP by 2025. Bell was a key participant in the AHSIP auction by Infrastructure Ontario, winning lots in many communities throughout the province, including: Bracebridge, Carleton Place, French River, Hastings Highlands, Huntsville, Kenora, Madoc, McKellar, Mississippi Mills, Nipissing, Renfrew, Sundridge, Thunder Bay and Timmins.

"Bell is proud to partner with the Government of Ontario on this historic initiative to bring our all-fibre broadband network to even more hard to reach communities across the province," said Mirko Bibic, President and CEO of BCE and Bell. "In 2022 alone, Bell's capital expenditures will reach approximately $5 billion, an unprecedented commitment to invest in building better communities across Canada, made possible by progressive policies at all levels of government to encourage facilities-based competition and investment."

Another benefit from its participation in AHSIP is that Bell will also fully fund fibre deployment to an additional 37,000 homes and businesses in the vicinity of its AHSIP build to reach even more Canadians with this leading broadband technology. Bell's award-winning network will provide fast and high-capacity 100% fibre connections with Internet download speeds of up to 3 Gbps and access to leading Bell services such as Fibe TV.

Enabled by a positive investment climate reflecting government support for facilities-based competition and policies that prioritize investment in our networks, Bell's participation in AHSIP is in line with its past participation in government programs such as the federal Universal Broadband Fund (UBF), and Ontario's Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) program and Improving Connectivity for Ontario (ICON) program. Our participation in these programs provides options for expansion in rural areas and smaller communities that can't be funded by private investment alone.

Connecting more Canadians

Bell is undertaking its most aggressive fibre buildout ever in 2022, with plans to reach up to 900,000 more homes and businesses across much of Canada with direct fibre connections. By the end of this year, Bell will have invested approximately $14 billion in capital expenditures since 2020, including planned capital expenditures of approximately $5 billion in 2022, the highest amount ever by a Canadian telecom company in both a single year and over a three-year cycle. These investments are going towards our fibre-to-the-home, 5G wireless and core networks, as well as our ongoing expansion into rural and remote communities, as well as on boosting capacity and ensuring resiliency.

Connecting more Canadians with fast, reliable and high-capacity broadband is at the heart of our purpose to advance how Canadians connect with each other and the world, and is also a key pillar of our Bell for Better ESG commitments. As part of these commitments, Bell is expanding its fibre and Wireless Home Internet footprints to underserved communities across Ontario, including First Nations, and providing telecommunications infrastructure that creates jobs, advances trade and contributes to economic growth.

For more details on Bell's pure fibre Internet, please visit Bell.ca/Fibre-to-the-home.

About Bell

Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing advanced broadband wireless, TV, Internet, media and business communication services throughout the country. Founded in Montréal in 1880, Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca or BCE.ca.

Through Bell for Better, we are investing to create a better today and a better tomorrow by supporting the social and economic prosperity of our communities with a commitment to the highest environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards. This includes the Bell Let's Talk initiative, which promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let's Talk Day and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research and workplace leadership initiatives throughout the country. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

Media inquiries
Jacqueline Michelis
jacqueline.michelis@bell.ca
@Bell_News

Investor inquiries
Richard Bengian
richard.bengian@bell.ca

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements made in this news release are forward-looking statements, including statements relating to our network deployment plans and anticipated capital expenditures as well as the benefits expected to result therefrom, including our planned investment in broadband infrastructure as part of the AHSIP and our two-year increased capital expenditure acceleration program for the deployment of our broadband fibre, 5G and rural networks, our business outlook, objectives, plans and strategic priorities, and other statements that are not historical facts. All such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of applicable Canadian securities laws and of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties and are based on several assumptions which give rise to the possibility that actual results or events could differ materially from our expectations. These statements are not guarantees of future performance or events, and we caution you against relying on any of these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release describe our expectations at the date of this news release and, accordingly, are subject to change after such date. Except as may be required by applicable securities laws, we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this news release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Our network deployment plans and anticipated capital expenditures and the benefits expected to result therefrom are subject to risks and, accordingly, there can be no assurance that our network deployment plans will be completed, that our anticipated capital expenditures will be made or that the benefits expected to result therefrom will be realized. The completion of our network deployment plans assumes, among others, the availability of sufficient equipment, labour and capital and the value of our planned capital expenditures assumes our ability to access or generate the necessary sources of capital. However, there can be no certainty that the required  equipment, labour and sources of capital will be available with the result that our actual network deployments and capital expenditures could materially differ from current expectations. For additional information on assumptions and risks underlying certain of our forward-looking statements made in this news release, please consult BCE Inc.'s (BCE) 2021 Annual MD&A dated March 3, 2022, BCE's 2022 First Quarter MD&A dated May 4, 2022, BCE's 2022 Second Quarter MD&A dated August 3, 2022 and BCE's news release dated August 4, 2022 announcing its financial results for the second quarter of 2022, filed by BCE with the Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities (available at Sedar.com) and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (available at SEC.gov). These documents are also available at BCE.ca.

SOURCE Bell Canada

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