Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Pincher Creek to join "Generation Axia"

"Within the next few weeks we will be breaking ground in Pincher Creek - Axia Residential Sales Manager David Skabar
Christian Davis and Toni Lucas -  Axia has announced they will be expanding their fibre optic internet infrastructure into the town of Pincher Creek. Last November Town of Pincher Creek Mayor Don Anderberg and Councillor Doug Thornton explained the Axia proposal to the rest of council. saying Axia asked that 30% of Pincher Creek's serviceable residential and commercial addresses indicate an interest in Axia's fibre optic network. In return, Axia would install the infrastructure for that network at no installation cost to the community,  Members of council and administration provided significant assistance to Axia's promotional drive for the project.  The fibre optic network is to be installed within 100 metres of all serviceable addresses in the town of Pincher Creek.

"You’ll never have to install another internet line again," promises Axia's website. "Axia Internet is designed for emerging technologies."  In other words, forward looking, adaptable.  Axia calls it "future proof".

Axia promotional video

Axia Residential Sales Manager David Skabar was available for a phone interview yesterday evening, "Following compelling grassroots support from the community of Pincher Creek on the backs of local champions, Councillor Doug Thornton, Mayor Don Anderberg, (administrators) Marie Everts and Laurie Wilgosh from the Town of Pincher Creek, the town elicited 30% of its residential and business members to bring our internet services and fibre optic network to the town of Pincher Creek with no public dollars, and Axia's private investment."

"Within the next few weeks we will be breaking ground in Pincher Creek, meaning we will be directionally drilling our fibre, and hanging it on your pole infrastructure to put every home and business on our fibre optic network."   Directional drilling means much less disturbances to existing infrastructure along the way.

"As we complete zones of our town, we will be able to light up customers and run our single home run fibre into the home to allow for unlimited usage of our internet services at the speed of light."

"We aim to offer a fantastic user experience."

Skabar has been with the company approximately one year. "In the time that I've been with the organization we have gone from one community... and Pincher Creek will be our sixth."

"We are looking to expand our network into any pro-active community in the province, that does just what Pincher Creek did in expressing its interest of 30% of its residents, and that's investing our private capital into the community."

The other southern Alberta communities signed up with Axia are Vulcan, Nanton, Nobleford (completed late January 2016), Barnwell (announced April 2016, and Stirling (announced June 2016). Axia operates the Alberta SuperNet for the Alberta government, with more than 80 client entities, 429 communities. And presumably Pincher Creek makes it 430. The Town of Fort Macleod launched a campaign last December asking their citizens and businesses to register their support for an Axia fibrenet insatallation there. Axia calls the Alberta SuperNet the "Next Generation Network". Axia also has similar ventures abroad in France and Singapore, and has lobbied extensively to bid on Australia's National Broadband Network.

Council for the Muncipal District of Pincher Creek No. 9 carried a motion by Councillor Garry Marchuk to register online as an interested party to the "Generation Axia" fibre optic internet initiative, giving moral support to the Town's involvement in promoting the initiative.  The MD's administrative buildings and yard are within the Town of Pincher Creek, and thus are eligible potential customers for Axia.

In Pincher Creek  Axia's network will offer 4 different levels of service: 25, 50, or 100 Mbps (megabytes per second) for residential users and up to a gigabyte per second for business users, at symmetrical upload and download speeds.  "So that means the same amount of speed up and down, every time you are on the network," explained Skabar.

According to in a report dated March 9, 2016 the Axia NetMetmedia (TSX:AXX) board announced it had agreed in March 2016 to a $272-million takeover takeover by private equity firm Digital Connection (Canada) Corporation, which in turn essentially owned by global private equity firm Partners Group, which is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland.  Partners Group is self described  as "USD 50 billion in assets under management and more than 800 professionals across 19 offices worldwide." and  "a global private markets investment manager that invests across private equity, private real estate, private infrastructure and private debt".

What does Axia say about Axia?
"Alberta rural Internet now has better-than-urban reliability. Axia delivers the most dependable fibre optic Internet available anywhere." -

What does Axia do?

"Axia provides standardized bandwidth services to both new and established specialty carriers to provide equal access for retail, application, and web service providers within a community and to connected communities." -
According to "Axia provides wholesale Next Generation Network services to the Alberta market, using Alberta SuperNet assets." That includes bandwidth services for Government and Public Sector customers, and services for Internet Service Providers and Enterprise customers". Axia also monitors and manages network security 24/7, manages "the ongoing growth and sustainability of the network", and provides technical and operational support to Alberta SuperNet customers.

Axia NetMedia Corporation (AXX) was slightly (-0.02 (-0.48%) down on the Toronto Stock Exchange at $4.19 (Jun 22, 2016, 2:17 AM EDT) just prior to the Pincher Creek announcement, up from a $2.50 low in February this year.

Related stories, links, and sources:

Corrected for accuracy (re number of southern Alberta communities signed up with Axia)

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