Wellington County plans meeting with different high speed provider

Wellington County officials will be meeting early this month with Barrett Xplore Inc. to consider high speed internet services.

A year ago, the county received a $1-million grant and inked a deal with Everus Com­munications to provide high speed internet service in rural parts of Wellington County. However, by July, the company was in financial trouble, and things only got worse later in the fall when someone knocked down the company’s commu­nications tower near Parker on County Road 7.

Warden Joanne Ross-Zuj told council Feb. 25 that after county officials met with Barrett, the county’s adminis­tration, finance, and personnel committee would make a recommendation and, “We should have a clearer picture of where we’re going with broadband.”

Barrett announced last week that it had purchased the assets of Everus.

Barrett announced March 4 that it had added thousands of Everus Communications’ subscribers to its growing base of Xplornet broadband customers.

It stated the acquisition was part of a court ordered and managed receivership process and includes the purchase of customer contracts, fixed wire­less towers and network infra­structure and other assets.

“We are delighted to welcome the Everus customers into the Barrett Xplore family,” said John Maduri, chief executive officer at Barrett Xplore. “This acquisition sub­stantially increases Barrett X­plore’s fixed wireless footprint in Southwestern Ontario and continues the company’s mis­sion to provide broadband Internet access and applications to every rural Canadian.”

The company assured Everus customers that services will be uninterrupted.

The Everus network covered all or part of 11 coun­ties in Southwestern Ontario including Grey, Wellington, Dufferin, Bruce, Huron, and Perth Counties and Waterloo Region.

The company stated that over the next 90 days, Barrett Xplore Inc. will be working to ensure a seamless integration of all operational functions, minimizing impact to its new customers, with the goal of enhancing their broadband capabilities.

During the transition, it will be business as usual for Everus customers while Barrett continues to operate the Everus brand. Customer contact information, service packages, pricing, and billing practices will remain unchanged. Barrett will keep Everus customers apprised of any updates.

Barrett has its headquarters in Woodstock, New Brunswick,  and operates Xplornet Internet Services, Canada’s largest rural broadband provider, with cus­to­mers and dealers in every province and territory.

Ross-Zuj noted that Barrett had been one of the companies under consideration when the county gave the contract to Everus, so its officials are familiar with Wellington.

As well, none of the grant money was spent. When Everus hit problems, the county kept the money in reserve until all the issues were worked out.