A fixed wireless broadband provider based in Richmond Hill, Ont., has come one step closer to a national rollout by completing the first leg of its network in Edmonton.

TeraGo Networks Inc., which currently operates in Alberta,

British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario, said its most recent deployment in and around Edmonton can accommodate more than 20,000 businesses. This move comes a few years after TeraGo deployed in 2000 its network in Calgary, Alta., where its engineering, development and operations are headquartered.

“”We’re completing a national rollout,”” said Bryan Boyd, president and CEO, TeraGo, which currently serves more than 1,500 business clients in 15 major Canadian cities. The network can provide access speeds to Internet and data services ranging from 1.5 Mbps to 100 Mbps. “”Edmonton was one of the few remaining large cities in Canada where we didn’t have a presence.””

According to Boyd, phase two of the Edmonton project, set to be completed next year, will enable an additional 15,000 businesses — for a total of 35,000 — to access the network. Built in industrial and suburban areas, the network will not be available in residential locations. The company, which will also deploy its network in Montreal and Vancouver in 2005, owns its own facilities and therefore doesn’t rely on Bell or Telus, continued Boyd. So TeraGo can address customer service enquiries without having to refer clients to the competition.

“”We were using Telus’ ADSL in Edmonton,”” said Tim Duffin, CFO, Big Rock Brewery Ltd., explaining the status quo before TeraGo’s network was up and running in Edmonton. “”Our order desk is in Calgary for ordering beer. We were using TeraGo in Calgary and Telus in Edmonton.””

When TeraGo did finally roll into Edmonton, continued Duffin, his company decided to sign up. Being able to tightly integrate the Edmonton and Calgary offices was one advantage, but perhaps an even bigger benefit was being able to abandon what had been an unreliable ADSL solution, he said, stressing the importance of having other options.

“”The speed now is better,”” said Duffin. “”Having the same service provider on both ends is beneficial for us.””

Jason Tetreau, IT co-ordinator, Yellowhead Honda, is another one of TeraGo’s new Edmonton clients. The car dealership signed up for Ethernet Internet access with a connection speed of up to 1.5 Mbps.

“”The area of the city we’re in was zoned for car dealerships 30 years ago,”” said Tetreau. “”The phone lines are 30 years old. Even high-speed through phone lines was not a good option (for us)…Back in the late 70s, early 80s, who would have ever imagined the Internet?””

Tetreau said the TeraGo solution is all the more important because more of Yellowhead’s systems are becoming Web-based. It will also enable his dealership to better communicate with Honda Canada. The solution, he noted, has up to this point been reliable.

“”So far we’ve had one pretty decent snowfall and we had no problem with our wireless signal,”” said Tetreau. “”There was no slowdown.””

Comment: info@itbusiness.ca

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