While the stock markets were focused yesterday on comments to a conference from Google’s CFO, Rogers VP Finance was telling another investor conference about Rogers’ take on the broadband marketplace. John Gossling said:
"The good news, I think, on both is that there is actually some pricing power. Unlike the competitive situation (in the U.S.), the prices on Internet and TV have been actually moving up quite nicely (for Rogers). We don’t seem to have the competitive pressure to take these decent-margin products and move their prices down, so we’re seeing good lift there."
In other words, the Canadian broadband marketplace has little competition, providing companies such as Rogers with the opportunity to raise prices and decrease service (see the current online discussion about Rogers cutting back on BitTorrent access). This might be music to the ears of investors, but for consumers this does not provide much confidence for the future direction of Internet connectivity in Canada. Let’s hope the CRTC and municipalities were also listening as they consider muni wifi initiatives and legislative protections against a two-tiered Internet.