Mississauga-area businesses will soon be able to run their networks up to 100 Mbps thanks to a recently created telco division of Enersource Corp.

The company Monday announced a $4.5 million contract with Oshawa, Ont.-based Cygnal Technologies to build and supply 150 km of fibre optic backbone, and the service will be available by mid-September. Enersource Telecom was created in January of this year to provide communications services to businesses in the Mississauga area.

“Customers can expect to see some level of services being offered immediately as the backbone gets built,” said Enersource Corp. vice-president of engineering and operations Mike Angemeer. “The higher level services – the electronics and so on – will take a bit longer to install. (We’ll see that) towards the end of this year and the beginning of next year.”

At first, customers will see dark fibre services that isn’t being used yet, then lit services will eventually be added, he said.

The commercial and industrial customers Enersource and Cygnal are targeting will see service from one to 100 mbps, added Jim Taylor, president of data division for Cygnal. “Every business is a potential customer,” he said, though the service probably won’t find a home in retail outlets since the speeds fibre affords will be of limited use.

At the moment, most businesses in the Mississauga region typically use 128k to 1.5 Mbps, said Taylor.

According to Angemeer, “We’ve been speaking to customers and there’s definitely a demand for a higher level of service – basically access to higher speed that what’s available in their particular areas right now.”

Enersource is also looking to attract new business into the area, with high-speed broadband as the lure, and the fibre network has been designed to allow additional splices along the backbone.

“When we have a customer that’s interested in the services, we then come off the backbone with a leg of fibre. The legs are driven by customer demand,” explained Taylor.

The telecommunications industry has hit a widely-publicized rut in the past year, but Enersource Telecom will offer service the more traditional telcos have largely ignored, according to Angemeer. He refers to it as “‘last mile provider’ . . . In this area, there was a lack of this high-speed service that was not being responded to.”

The fibre service will be priced competitively against other broadband providers, he said, and will range according to speed and level of service. Eventually customers can opt for IP-based data services, though specifics were not disclosed at this stage of the project.

Enersource’s fibre optic service may find a place in residential homes, but the need or demand isn’t there just yet, said Angemeer.

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