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Local cell phone shares sold to TBayTel

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The Fort Frances Network Services has entered into an agreement to sell its interest in the Norwest Mobility network to TBayTel.

The sole shareholder—the Town of Fort Frances, represented by council—passed a resolution last Tuesday (Nov. 13) to pursue the sale of its interest in the business venture after careful review of an external business valuation that was presented by the Fort Frances Network Services board of directors.

“The purchase of the network is important as TBayTel delivers on its promise to be the leading regional communications services provider in Northern Ontario,” said president and CEO Peter Diedrich.

“With the consolidation of Norwest Mobility’s services and technology, the evolution of TBayTel’s position in the marketplace will bring increased value to all of our stakeholders in the region—our customers, our employees, and our communities,” Diedrich added.

“TBayTel would like to recognize the strong partnership we had with the Fort Frances Network Services over the last eight years. They have been great to work with, and we acknowledge their outstanding dedication to this venture.”

The construction of the Norwest Mobility cellular network, with funding assistance from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp., began in 2000 to provide cellular service along the Highway 11 corridor between Thunder Bay and Fort Frances, and through to Rainy River.

Since its inception, it has functioned as an operating partnership between TBayTel, Fort Frances Network Services, and Atikokan Enercom.

This purchase significantly solidifies TBayTel’s expanded regional services package across Northern Ontario.

“We are very pleased with the results that this business venture has delivered to the Town of Fort Frances,” said Mayor Roy Avis.

“Our share of the necessary investment to digitalize the infrastructure of the service area to keep in step with advancing technologies would be too large of an investment and an encumbrance to our taxpayers,” noted Doug McCaig, chair of Fort Frances Network Services.

“We feel that this is the opportune time to sell,” he added.

“The project objectives of the Fort Frances Network Services have been met,” echoed Jorg Ruppenstein, CEO of the Fort Frances Power Corp.

“We are very proud of the cellular network that we built in partnership with TBayTel and Atikokan Enercom that allows residents from Thunder Bay to Rainy River to enjoy the convenience of cellular phone service.”

TBayTel is dedicated to delivering state-of-the-art, competitively-priced telecom solutions that ensure people, businesses, and communities of Northern Ontario have multiple points of access to the global communications highway.

It offers the region’s largest digital cellular coverage with extensive products and services that include data, voice, wireless, and Internet.

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