Canada's largest telcos gained over 111K broadband subs in Q4

Canada’s three largest telecom operators – Bell Canada, Rogers Communications and Telus – collectively added 111,591 broadband internet customers in the fourth quarter.

Bell led the pack with 55,591 retail internet net subscriber activations, touting its “second best” Q4 result in nearly two decades. Internet net additions contributed to a 5.4% increase in residential internet revenue.

The operator’s fiber expansion plans have been impacted by federal regulation to bolster broadband competition. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced in November large telcos in Ontario and Quebec will be required to “provide competitors with access to their fiber-to-the-home networks within six months.”

Following CRTC’s announcement, Bell issued a press release stating it will reduce its 2025 fiber build target from 9 million to 8.3 million locations.

Bell ended Q4 with 4.5 million retail internet subscribers. Consolidated operating revenue grew 0.5% to CAD $6.5 billion but net earnings fell 23% to CAD $435 million.

As for Rogers, it reported 20,000 internet net additions in Q4, compared to 7,000 net adds in the year-ago quarter. It ended the period with 4.2 million internet subscribers and approximately 9.9 million homes passed.

Rogers last April closed its merger with Shaw Communications, which resulted in most of Shaw’s operations rebranding to the Rogers name. The deal was first announced in March 2021 but took over two years to receive regulatory approval.


Rogers said the Shaw acquisition boosted Q4 cable service revenue by 94% to CAD $1.98 billion. Consolidated revenue rose 28% YoY to CAD $5.3 billion but net income dropped 35% to CAD $328 million.

Telus meanwhile added 36,000 internet customers in the quarter, representing a year on year loss of 6,000. The operator attributed the loss to “a higher churn rate from macroeconomic and competitive pressures impacting consumer purchasing decisions.”

Telus ended 2023 with 2.6 million internet subscribers, an 8.8% YoY increase from 2.4 million in Q4 2022. Consolidated operating revenues and other income increased 2.8% to CAD $5.2 billion, with net income rising 17% to CAD $310 million.

The company began its fiber build in 2013, and it’s still working on its copper retirement program. Telus in March 2023 said “over the coming years” it will replace aging copper wires in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec with its PureFibre network.