Rural internet expansion lures private investors
Internet services provider Barrett Xplore Inc. said Tuesday it has secured $55 million in private funding to build an advanced broadband network in rural Canada.
The new investment consists of $30 million from existing investors and $25 million in new equity investment, Barrett said in a news release.
Barrett provides Xplornet internet services and said it will build a fourth-generation network based on WiMAX technology to cover rural Canada with roughly 1,200 towers and a new satellite network.
"The range and size of these investments are a clear endorsement of the Barrett Xplore Inc. mission, business model and vision of making Canada an international rural broadband leader," said John Maduri, CEO of Barrett Xplore Inc.
"This investment allows us to finish the job we started: to bring affordable, robust broadband to every rural Canadian," Maduri said in a statement.
Deployment of the network began this month in Quebec.
Among the new investors are private equity firm Catalyst Investors and Calgary's Werklund Capital Corp.
Barrett Xplore is headquartered in Woodstock, N.B., and bills itself as Canada's largest rural broadband provider with customers and dealers in every province and territory.
WiMAX technology offers a high-speed mobile network. It's competing with a similar technology called Long-Term Evolution, which is expected to become the world standard for fourth-generation networks.