New partnership formed to help bring fibre to St. Marys

ST. MARYS – An area telecommunications business and an infrastructure and technology company owned by the City of Stratford have teamed up to install fibre throughout the town of St. Marys.

Austin Covell of Weber Contracting helps bury fibre lines on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019 in St. Marys, Ont. (Terry Bridge/Stratford Beacon Herald)

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ST. MARYS – An area telecommunications business has teams up with an infrastructure and technology company owned by the City of Stratford to install fibre throughout the town of St. Marys.

Called QR Fibre, this new company is a partnership between Quadro Communications Co-operative Inc. and the Stratford-owned Rhyzome Networks. Quadro will be connecting customers to the internet, cable and phone, but the infrastructure is owned by this new entity.

Contractors have been in the town since the spring drilling and installing as the three-year project began. Despite nearing the end of the first year, this partnership has been in the works since the beginning, Rhyzome’s chief executive Ysni Semsedini said.

“It was something that we had talked about going into the project, and it just took us a little while to get the deal structured and approved and the company incorporated and set up,” he said Friday. “We didn’t want to lose time in that process, so Quadro kicked if off and the partnership was formed (later).”

The two sides have done some minor work together in the past, but nothing on this scale.

“This is our first venture into a true partnership,” Semsedini said.

John DeHeer, Quadro general manager, said there were several synergies between the two companies.

“We’re in the same type of business,” he said Friday. “There’s a lot of advantages for us working together on that.”

Semsedini pointed out it’s an interesting partnership since Rhyzome is a municipally owned company partnering with a telecom co-op to bring fibre to local residents.

“We’re doing something a little bit different in our region where we look to partner to provide service to our customers,” he said. “It’s much more of a co-operative standpoint.”

Partnering allows them to build faster and connect more customers, he said. As of this week, the contractors were a little bit ahead of schedule.

“Now with the snow coming in, it’ll be interesting to see where we end off, but we are as far as we wanted to be in phase one,” Semsedini said.

Despite being a city-owned company, the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed to maintain a competitive advantage, Semsedini said. Quadro is the majority owner in the 55-45 split, he said.

tbridge@postmedia.com

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