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Optimizing Internet Service Amid Disruption

An Interview with Jason Cowan, CEO of FibreStream

— March 26, 2020 — Business
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people interact with one another in many ways, both professionally and in their personal lives. As a result, many companies that have been deemed essential have been pushed to adapt, with the wellbeing and safety of their employees being top of mind. One such essential provider is FibreStream which services condos in Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver with "super-fast internet" and "unlimited data." In light of the current health crisis, the company has had to rethink its installation processes and has introduced a number of screening features to ensure the safety of employees. Trend Hunter spoke to co-founder and CEO, Jason Cowan, about how FibreStream is adapting and what those changes entail for workers.

What differentiates FibreStream from its competitors?

FibreStream offers Internet services to large condominium buildings only. By leveraging high subscriber density, and by installing its own private fibre network in each building, FibreStream is able to offer superior speeds and connectivity at a lower rate. Also, all of FibreStream's plans come with unlimited usage and no contracts. We want our customers with us because they're happy, not because they're bound by an agreement.

How has COVID-19 affected your business?

FibreStream has halted its expansion in all cities. Currently, business is limited to carrying out essential processes only, such as customer support. We've stopped all technician visits, except for those without service (new move-ins or repairs). Those switching from other providers must wait for regular installations to resume. Technician visits are being carried out with extra precautions in the form of masks and gloves. Also, customers must pass a series of screening questions to qualify for the visit.

How has FibreStream adapted to this disruption?

FibreStream continues to consider all options at this point. Our main goal is to reduce our exposure to the virus and limit our ability to spread it. This means reducing or eliminating our technician visits. Currently, approximately 20% of our footprint is pre-wired, meaning service can be activated remotely without sending a technician. We are looking for more ways to accomplish this.

How can people maximize their online experience during quarantine?

Fast Internet speeds, low Internet prices, and unlimited data are key during these times of self-isolation and financial stress, so ensure your ISP is delivering on those fronts. Although we do not have any speed issues at the moment, there has been a large increase in Internet usage over the past couple of weeks. As a result, we have accelerated some upgrades in certain areas.

I know the 5G network is being implemented in some areas of the world. How is FibreStream utilizing/planning to utilize the innovation?

Currently, we are focusing on expanding our residential footprint to more condos, and have no plans to offer cellular services. That said, we are committed to remaining on the cutting edge of our industry. In August 2019, we launched the first 5,000 Mbps residential Internet package — the fastest Internet speeds available to consumers in Canada. We're really proud of that!