Connecting communities with fiber H

Laura LaPalme, High Speed Crow

igh Speed Crow began in 2003, when founder and company presi- dent Bryan King built a new house

in rural Manitoba with the promise that DSL would be available, but he quickly found out that it wasn’t. And will likely never be available. At the time, Bryan was employed as an

Enterprise Architect for projects in South America, China, USA and Europe. His career depended on having access to high- speed internet. That’s when he decided to take matters into his own hands and created his own network. Word quickly spread, and soon he began offering to con- nect his neighbours. What started with connecting a few

neighbours, quickly grew into thousands of customers on wireless. Fast forward to 2018, where High Speed Crow offers wire- less and launched fiber to the homes and businesses with the fastest speeds in the country. Home phone lines are disappearing and

being replaced with cell phones. Custom- ers are dropping cable and satellite and moving in favour of affordable services such as Netflix, so spending that extra $30/ month on internet can save a family $120/ month on phone and TV. Rural businesses are moving more toward accessing skype for conferencing or live streaming video for training purposes. As these rural communities continue

to grow, Internet service providers must understand the needs of residents and businesses in these communities. They want to do business with other local com- panies who also support local and invest back into the community. “We started rural, and remain rural,

so we get it!” says King. “Tat’s why we take the time to educate our customers when it comes to choosing between wire- less or fiber. We don’t want to sell the top tier package if it doesn’t work for them, because we want them to understand the difference and what works best for their specific needs, as well as what might keep them from being able to access one over the other.” Wireless works best in lower customer

density areas and fiber requires higher density simply because the costs are con- siderably higher. Trees can be an issue for the fastest speeds for wireless distribution, and density of housing is a challenge for fiber deployments. Wireless can be installed quickly, and

deployed quickly but also requires con- tinuous upgrades every 4-5 years, as the

technology matures and customer needs grow. With fiber, it is infrastructure that automatically adds to the value of your house, in fact about 3.1% according to Fiber Broadband Association. Housing markets are even seeing trends

now where customers are specifically looking to purchase homes based on availability of fiber. Many more people are working from their home in Manitoba

to locations around the world, or simply avoiding the commute to Winnipeg. So now that you know this service is

out there, how do you get high speed to your area? For starters, talk to your municipal lead-

ers. Ask your mayor, reeve or councillor if they have requested fiber for your area. “High Speed Crow will bring fiber to the areas with the most interest” adds King.

“In fact, our current town for deployment asked us about fiber just last year, and we are installing the infrastructure this sum- mer. At the same time, we are connecting fiber to our towers.” High Speed Crow maps the GPS coordi-

nates of all signups, and overlays that with wireless coverage and customer growth – the analytics drive the process. Visit www. and sign up!

Autumn 2018

Regional Times 11

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