Popular internet service NETAGO, based in Hanna, Alta. has recently been acquired by Telus effective March 1, 2022 after an agreement was struck.
NETAGO will now be part of Mascon under the Telus brand.
Since their start 19 years ago, the company has expanded to provide coverage in Special Areas, County of Stettler, Starland County, and the MD of Acadia.
The ECA Review sat down with NETAGO President Terry Duchcherer to hear how this agreement may affect users.
Duchcherer assured that it is ‘business as usual’ for customers as well as staff.
This includes prices, bills, support hours, access to the Hanna office and so forth.
The reason for the merger came down to a constantly changing industry and deep pockets.
NETAGO and other small companies utilize what is called Spectrum, a specific wavelength to deliver service which has been recently auctioned off.
With the recent introduction of 5G, it has been hard to purchase part of this wavelength to provide further service.
NETAGO is committed to completing their current projects which include installing fibre optics in Morrin, Big Valley, and Erskine as well as tower upgrades in Starland County, County of Stettler, and Special Areas 2 with an approximate completion by the end of the summer.
With recent announcements from the federal government about them matching Alberta’s $390M funding commitment to high-speed internet infrastructure in rural, remote and indigenous communities, Duchcherer hopes that some of this promised funding will go to smaller internet providers for their projects.
“The recent announcement from the provincial government will definitely help to upgrade internet in rural areas.
Larger companies bring an economy of scale that will utilize this funding to accelerate newer technologies such as 5G. However, we hope that there will also be substantial funding provided to smaller providers who continue to provide services where others are reluctant to go,” he said.
Duchcherer and business partner Jim Bietelspacher are appreciative of all the support received by customers over the past two decades as they now enter retirement after a short transition period.
“We’ll have answers as things move on but from the perspective of Jim and I’ve enjoyed what we have accomplished over the last 20 years,” said Duchcherer.