Tbaytel office project to start

Duane Hicks

Tbaytel will have a new regional office in north end of town before summer’s end.
Ed Kaun & Sons Ltd., which was announced last Wednesday as the project contractor, will begin working on-site at 650 Sixth St. W. next week and aim to be finished by the end of August.
The office is part of the next phase of Tbaytel’s initiative to bring its “Fibre” services to Fort Frances homes and businesses later this year, John Barch, Tbyatel’s vice-president of operations and administration, said during a ground-breaking ceremony last week.
“One of Tbaytel’s main priorities is to ensure that, where possible, we can contribute back to the local and regional economy,” he noted.
“We are thrilled to have been able to select a local company with a proven track record of success to assist Tbaytel in helping move this project forward,” added Barch.
Tbaytel made roughly $40 million in material purchases last year alone, he said, and that spending was kept within Northwestern Ontario.
Meanwhile, he contract is another feather in the cap of Ed Kaun & Sons, which has been in business since 1977 and now specializes in commercial construction after establishing a proven track record of residential customers.
In recent years, the contractor has taken on projects ranging from the local museum and airport to Tim Hortons here.
“We are very proud as a company to be here today,” said Ed Kaun & Sons vice-president Wayne Kaun.
“We work hard to be competitive in the market, and we work hard as a company and family business to do good work,” he remarked.
“We are very proud to partner up with Tbaytel.
“We are fortunate as a community to receive this fibre-optic service,” Kaun added.
“There’s people in cities that are waiting [for it].”
In fact, Kaun said he’s aware quite a few people are all very excited about what this project will mean for their community.
Mayor Roy Avis said it’s good to see a local contractor playing a role in enhancing the town’s infrastructure.
He also thanked Tbaytel for choosing to bring its “Fibre” service to Fort Frances, adding it will create more opportunities for development both from economic and community perspectives.
“Fort Frances, like many other communities in Northwestern Ontario, has had to reinvent itself in recent years,” Mayor Avis conceded.
Once a mill town, he noted the town has had to embrace entrepreneurship in different directions.
Fortunately, there’s a healthy and vibrant business community here, the mayor said, and “Fibre” only will strengthen that community and give Fort Frances “boundless opportunities.”
The office will be a 1,000 sq. ft. building with a parking lot for the public.
In addition to providing office space for Tbaytel staff working here, the building will house network components that support the delivery of all five of Tbaytel’s products and services.
It also will provide storage for equipment used by Tbaytel network operations technicians to maintain network components in the region, said Barch.
“So as you can tell, the establishment of a local working space will be hugely beneficial for our operations in Fort Frances,” he noted.
“And it will allow us to be more efficient in providing the best experience possible for the families, businesses, schools, and organizations that will be interacting with Tbaytel services every day.”
Barch added Sight & Sound, which Tbaytel “has built a great relationship with over the years,” will continue to provide hands-on support and meet all of their customers’ needs for each of the new products “Fibre” will bring–high-speed Internet, digital TV, landline phone, and security–as well as the mobility support they already provide today.
As reported in the Times earlier this month, Tbaytel’s new “Fibre” service will be available here by November.
In addition to the other steps, such as building the new office, the actual fibre build (i.e., the installation of the fibre optic network) will take place from July through to mid-October or early November.