Bringing Ontario business up to speed
In the world of Canadian fibre-optics, one company is growing at the speed of its powerful file-sharing connectivity. Atria Networks is a data service company with a strong expansion model that is in more and more regions of Ontario. The company, led by CEO John Piercy, has distinguished itself with its competitive, fast and reliable data communications and a growing fibre-optic network, available in regions where there has traditionally been no service. Clients are afforded access to email, CRM, Internet VPNs for remote user access as well as connections 1,000 times faster than traditional high speed.
Atria Networks has a growing portfolio of Ontario businesses that have come to them for a consistent and dependable service. Atria Networks gained quite a bit of exposure within the communications technology industry in the 1990s, when municipalities and their respective utilities companies upgraded their facilities en masse to include fibre optic networks.
“From an economic development point of view, when our clients build fibre optic networks, it attracts more companies that also require those types of high-speed networks,” says Piercy. “A lot of these cities around Ontario started down this path, but discovered about eight or nine years that they lacked scale, but they were restricted to their geographic municipal boundaries, so they couldn’t get to a certain size where they could share costs properly.”
Atria’s ability to easily scale bandwidth means business providers can concentrate on their primary business and not be tethered to out-of-date communications technology. These services allow for a level playing field so that companies outside of rural business centres can also grow seamlessly, with minimal cost integration of equipment or extended network upgrade timelines. Atria Networks is also in high demand in all of Ontario’s business communities as well, including Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa etc.
Atria Networks was formed in 2005 with the amalgamation of three independent utility companies, making Atria Networks now one of the largest fibre optic providers in Ontario. “What we do is we provide data networks to municipalities and businesses as well as selling to other carriers. We have the physical infrastructure, which are the fibre optic cables that go everywhere,” Piercy explains.
Atria Networks also provides connectivity to the Internet for customers and we manage their network. A good analogy would be they own the road system and can rent the road to people who want to drive their own cars, but we also have their own fleet of taxis. It’s a turn-key solution.
“We’re kind of like buying from the telephone companies and DSL Internet services, but much strong, with a starting connectivity speed of 100 megabits per second (in both directions),” says Piercy.
Three weeks before speaking with Piercy, Atria Networks acquired the Ontario telecom network assets of Xittel Telecommunications Inc. of Trois-Rivières, Quebec. This acquisition extended Atria’s fibre connectivity from Huntsville through Barrie, across to Lindsay and north to Minden, Ontario.
“In addition to further increasing Atria’s fibre reach through Simcoe County and Halliburton, we are delighted to add the County of Halliburton and Trillium Lakelands District School Board as new Atria customers,” adds Piercy.
Atria Networks will continue to expand where possible. “Our next growth will be layering more services on top of our existing infrastructure. Later this year, we are launching a telephone service on top of our managing services where we offer a very cost-effective solution to your telephone needs. We always look for continued acquisition.”
Piercy has seen the changing networking needs and has positioned Atria Networks to quickly and effectively address those changes. In Ontario, only 15 per cent of the clients who need fibre optic services actually have it, according to Piercy, so there is 85 per cent the market of that is yet to convert, presenting a huge growth opportunity for the company.
This year has been a banner year for Atria Networks in terms of sales and acquisition of new customers. Under the guidance of a formidable management team and a conscientious customer service, Atria Networks will continue to thrive in a market that has an insatiable appetite for speed and communications.