Canada’s Telus is on track to retire its copper network by early 2023

Canadian operator Telus inched closer to a full-fiber future, revealing only 12% of customers within its footprint are still served by copper.

During the operator’s Q3 earnings call, Telus CEO Darren Entwistle stated it has just over 200,000 lines remaining on its copper network. EVP and Chief Customers Officer Tony Geheran added it expects the migration of its copper customers to fiber to be “substantially completed by the end of 2022, early 2023.”

Telus launched its fiber program in 2013. Geheran explained the company initially focused on serving new customers who wanted its fiber products and “kind of left behind” existing subscribers who were content with their copper service. Its migration program is now “revisiting those customers to see if the circumstances and needs have changed,” he said.

Geheran said the pace of transition activity varies by market based on customer demand for fiber and network repair requirements. “If we're, as I said, in high demand, we can turn it [copper] down. If we have repairs anyway, we can go out and do the migration while we're doing a repair and if we get a demand request, we can do a migration at that juncture,” he said. “So that kind of is dictating our flow.”

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In terms of what Telus has learned from its migration thus far, Geheran said the shift to fiber has brought to light “significant” opportunities to rationalize its real estate footprint and provided substantial reliability benefits, requiring 35% fewer repairs than copper.

Zainul Mawji, Telus’ president of Home Solutions, added fiber adoption has also helped lower churn and boost ARPU relative to copper. She said the operator expects to be able to grow service tier step-ups going forward, noting it has the ability to upgrade its fiber to 10 Gbps. Telus’ top-tier plan, which launched in June, currently offers symmetrical speeds of up to 2.5 Gbps.


Telus posted wireline product net additions of 75,000 in Q3, including 46,000 internet customers. Entwistle said the latter figure was the operator’s “best third quarter result compared to all pre-pandemic periods since 2003.” It ended the quarter with 2.23 million internet subscribers.

Consolidated revenue of CAD4.3 billion (approximately $3.5 billion) was up 6.8% year on year, while net income grew 11.5% to CAD358 million. Revenue from fixed data services increased 12.8% to CAD1.1 billion.