Who we are
Our wireless and wireline networks, as well as our broadcasting services, keep Canadians connected, informed and entertained. By providing the best network technologies, we power Canada’s prosperity and support the nation’s innovation pipeline. Additionally, our focus on data privacy and information security supports the reliability of our network.
Our purpose to advance how Canadians connect with each other and the world is underpinned by our ability to provide robust and reliable networks, and we are making significant investments to ensure Canadians continue to have access to critical infrastructure.
|Network coverage and accessibility||Wireless: Expand 5G network coverage to more than 80% of the Canadian population by the end of 2022footnote 1||82%||+12 percentage points||PwCfootnote 2||Achieved|
|New target: Wireless: Expand 5G network coverage to more than 85% of the Canadian population by the end of 2023||82%||New target||Data not available||Data not available|
|New target: Wireline: Expand our pure fibre network to over 650,000 additional locations by the end of 2023||854,000||New target||PwC||Data not available|
|Network reliability||Maintain network reliability level above 99.99%footnote 3||99.9901%||–0.0039%||PwC||Achieved|
|Data privacy||0 unresolved well-founded privacy complaints from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPCC)||0||No change||OPCC||Achieved|
|Information security||100% of selected team members to have completed Bell’s Be Cyber Savvy information security training program by the end of 2022||88% were trained in 2022||+18 percentage points||PwC||Improving|
|New target: 90% of onboarded team members to complete yearly Be Cyber Savvy information security training||88%||New target||Data not available||Data not available|
|Improve year-over-year phishing simulation report rate||25%||New target||PwC||Data not available|
|Align to ISO 27001 standard by the end of 2023||80%||+30 percentage points||Data not available||Improving|
We expanded our pure fibre network to an additional 854,000 homes and businesses in 2022footnote 4, and we will continue expanding our fibre footprint to less-densely populated areas and communities, with a target of expanding 650,000 additional fibre connections by the end of 2023.
In addition to expanding our fibre network, we’re also offering faster Internet speeds to customers. In 2022, we introduced Bell Gigabit Fibe 3.0, offering symmetrical download and upload speeds of 3 gigabits-per-second (Gbps) in several communities across our footprint. We also launched Bell Gigabit Fibe 8.0, with symmetrical speeds of 8 Gbps, the fastest available in the market today among major Internet service providers (ISPs) in North America. We continue to expand availability of multi-gigabit services across our footprint. By early 2023, symmetrical Internet speeds of 3 Gbps or higher will be available in 5 million locations, including in Atlantic Canada, and 1 million of these locations will have access to speeds of 8 Gbps.
In total, Bell’s advanced broadband networks – including pure fibre and Wireless Home Internet (WHI) – reached almost 80% of customer locations throughout Atlantic Canada, Ontario, Québec and Manitoba by the end of 2022.
As part of our strategy to build resilient, future-ready networks, Bell is gradually transitioning from its copper wire networks to pure fibre connections – widely regarded as the best broadband technology in the world. The decommissioning of copper networks enables us to accelerate our transition toward more efficient, robust and faster pure fibre connectivity to meet customer demands.
Bell continued to roll out pure fibre Internet in major urban centres in 2022, including the Island of Montréal, the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton, Ontario, and Winnipeg. In addition, Bell continued to fully fund deployments of pure fibre in many smaller cities and communities, including Amherstburg, Barrie, Georgina, Guelph, London, Kingsville, Owen Sound and Pickering in Ontario, and in multiple communities in New Brunswick. We also started to deploy fibre in many rural communities in Manitoba, including Altona, Emerson, Île-des-Chênes, Morris, Plum Coulee, St. Adolphe and Stony Mountain.
Bell also participated in government programs to reach rural and smaller communities that can’t be funded by private investment alone. This includes projects supported by Bell and the Federal Government’s Universal Broadband Fund, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) Broadband Fund, and a range of provincial programs. These provincial programs include Operation High Speed in Québec, the Improving Connectivity for Ontario (ICON) program, the Internet for Nova Scotia program, the Prince Edward Island Broadband Fund, and broadband initiatives supported by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Among these partnerships, Bell was a key participant in the Ontario Accelerated High-Speed Internet Program (AHSIP) auction conducted by Infrastructure Ontario in 2022. As a result, in partnership with the Ontario government, we will deploy pure fibre to homes and businesses in underserved regions across the province, including Indigenous communities, by 2025. In Northern Canada, our subsidiary Northwestel also continued to deploy fibre in 2022 as part of its Every Community Project.
Fueled by Northwestel’s own significant investments and the CRTC Broadband Fund, Northwestel deployed fibre-to-the-home to 17 northern communities, with more communities to be added in 2023. Today, more than 80% of households in Yukon and the Northwest Territories have access to unlimited high-speed Internet.
Bell’s LTE wireless network reached 99% of Canadians by 2020. Since then we have launched and expanded Canada’s fastest and most awarded 5G network in urban and rural marketsfootnote 5, reaching 82% of all Canadians by the end of 2022footnote 6. Our 2023 goal is to reach 85% of the Canadian population with our 5G network.
In 2022, Bell propelled the next major advancement in wireless network technology forward with the launch of 5G+, leveraging 3500 MHz wireless spectrum in urban and rural markets that we acquired in the 2021 spectrum auction conducted by Innovation, Science and, Economic Development Canada (ISED).
5G+ is the fastest mobile technology in Canada. It improves the performance of today’s demanding apps and services, such as gaming and streaming, video conferencing, and IoT solutions, while also supporting future innovations. Bell’s 5G+ network was available to 38% of the nation’s population at the end of 2022, and our goal is to expand coverage to 46% of Canadians by the end of 2023.
To learn more about wireless health and safety, see our Wireless health and safety and social acceptability of our network information sheet. tagGRI 416-1
Investing in network security, capacity and resiliency has helped Bell achieve 99.9901%footnote 6 network reliability, achieving our target to maintain our network reliability above 99.99%. Our investments provide core network architecture, diversity and redundancy – including multiple transport routes – which minimize the risk of major service disruptions. We also proactively provide notifications to inform customers when services are disrupted.tag SASB TC-SI-550a.1
Bell’s customer commitment is demonstrated by our operational governance processes, our best-in-class design and network architectural practices, and the continuous investments that we make in our networks year after year.
They rely on our services for work, studies, to stay informed, and to reach out to loved ones. By prioritizing reliability and responsiveness in our day-to-day operations, Bell team members mobilize quickly to resolve outages and other emergencies.
In September 2022, Hurricane Fiona made landfall in Atlantic Canada, causing extensive power outages and unprecedented damage to communications infrastructure. Bell implemented special measures in advance of Hurricane Fiona’s arrival, and in her aftermath, Bell teams worked around the clock and in close cooperation with other service providers, including competitors, to restore service as quickly as possible. This approach helped to minimize the impact on customers and communities throughout the region.
Other major storms led to outages and restoration efforts this past year. A devastating windstorm in May 2022 required massive repair efforts by Bell crews in areas of Ontario and Québec. Major storms also led to hundreds of thousands of Canadians losing power over the December 2022 holiday period, and Bell’s teams worked tirelessly to keep our customers connected and to restore service in harder-hit areas as quickly as possible.
For more than two decades, we have successfully deployed most of the largest mission-critical two-way radio service communication networks in Canada. We are proud that we have a unique mandate to serve the public when it matters most, providing public safety radio communications to more than 80,000 first responders and other essential services in Canada.
Bell is the largest provider of 9-1-1 emergency services in Canada. We offer specialized 24/7 bilingual support and network monitoring to emergency contact centres in Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. We offer the Text with 9-1-1 (T9-1-1) service, and we support the Alert Ready system used to inform Canadians of critical emergencies in their area. Bell is also leading the way in the development of Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911).
We have undertaken a data privacy initiative, including upgrading our systems and processes, to enhance our privacy management program and our ability to use data to create value for stakeholders in compliance with privacy laws.
To learn more about our information security practices, see our Data privacy and information security information sheet. tagSASB TC-TL-220a.1tagSASBTC-TL-220a.4
Our Information Security program is based on guiding principles to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of all Bell information systems, services, and networks. We build and continuously improve security policies and directives based on industry standards and the threat landscape. In 2022, we have aligned our program at 80% of the ISO/IEC 27001 standard, which puts us in a good position to meet our target of 100% alignment by the end of 2023.
We implement prevention, detection and incident response programs to address security threats. Our full suite of security services is monitored by Bell’s Security Operations Centre. The centre is made up of more than 260 security professionals, and is staffed 24/7 to provide incident and policy management, and to report on all security-related incidents. Bell, like any company, faces cybersecurity incidents on a sustained basis and aims to avoid and minimize any impacts.
To learn more, see our Data privacy and information security information sheet for details related to significant incidents during the year.
Bell has invested in the development of new cybersecurity expertise within Canada through a collaboration with University of New Brunswick. The initiative helps support the university’s Master of Applied Cybersecurity program. Bell is a founding member of the Canadian Cyber Threat Exchange (CCTX), created to build collaboration and share cyber threat intelligence between private and public organizations with a Canadian focus.
In 2021, we launched our Be Cyber Savvy information security training program. This training program includes access to our specialized cyber awareness platform, monthly phishing simulations and the completion of four baseline courses. Team members must complete these four courses within 12 months of being onboarded. This year, 88% of onboarded team members completed baseline training by the end of 2022footnote 7, and we aim to have 90% of onboarded team members complete the yearly Be Cyber Savvy information security training moving forward.
We had a 25% reporting rate for phishing simulations in 2022, and set a target to improve our yearly phishing simulation report rate moving forwardfootnote 7. We believe a combination of training, clear messaging and positive reinforcement will lead to year-over-year improvement in reporting suspected phishing attempts and demonstrate team member engagement in keeping Bell secure. This year, we observed a 155% increase in reported phishing simulations from fully trained employees compared to non-trained employees.
To learn more about our information security practices, see our Data privacy and information security information sheet. tagGRI 410-1tagSASB TC-SI-230a.1tagSASB TC-SI-230a.2