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With this month’s rural Internet service area update, we wanted to give you a little insight into how Xplornet’s Network Planning and Provision Team works by introducing you to their leader, Michelle Bourgoin.

Michelle has been with Xplornet since before the “Xplornet” we know today existed.

“I have been with the company for 24 years,” she said.

At that time, Xplornet’s primary office was in Woodstock, New Brunswick, a town of 5000, and most of their employees lived and raised their families in the community where they grew up.

The company was founded by people from rural New Brunswick who understand the challenges involved with getting rural Internet service firsthand. This office is still active and many Xplornet’s employees still live and work in rural New Brunswick.

Even though Xplornet has grown from 50 employees to over 1000, Michelle says it still feels like a family atmosphere. She still works in New Brunswick and often runs into old coworkers at the grocery store.

Today, Michelle leads the Network Planning and Provision Team. They are responsible for the planning and construction of new towers, adding capacity to the network and troubleshooting any technical issues.

The team’s number one goal is to maintain a good customer experience by predicting when communities will require more capacity on their tower so they can get ahead of the issue and ensure we’re providing quality rural Internet service.

“We monitor how towers are performing. We can see where the demand is high and those are the areas in which we build more capacity,” she said.

Predicting demand can be difficult because as technology evolves, the way we use the Internet also evolves.

Michelle’s team forecasts that demand will increase by about 30% per year, but sporadic innovations to technology and trends in usage patterns like the number of devices, heavy reliance on streaming, and influxes of users working from home, can drive this number up in an instant.

When the capacity of a tower hits a certain threshold, Michelle’s team initiates a process where we close the tower to new customers to protect the experience of the customers that are currently serviced by the tower. No customers can be added until capacity is increased.

“In each province, there is a team that knows the towers, and user behaviour in their region, which helps to anticipate capacity issues,” Michelle said.

Still, expanding our network and carrying out tower upgrades takes time, and we know customers are eager to take advantage of each online innovation. Unfortunately, there are often physical limitations.

“Building a tower takes 3-12 months to complete. Engineers have to look at the ground, plan foundations, build foundations, wait for municipal approvals, all of which take a long time,” she explained.

Michelle, like the rest of the Xplornet family, has a vested interest in every customer.

“It hurts when a customer is unhappy or leaves us,” she said, “there is a very large group of people that care and we’re all working hard to make sure the customer has the best service possible. We’re not just sitting back and living with the fact that they have poor service. There are a lot of people that worry about them every day and take it very personally.”

It may not be visible in the news or on our website but the team behind the scenes is always working to upgrade the network to the latest standards, with the newest technologies and optimizing the way it performs.

Since our last new tower blog post, we were able to upgrade and build the towers listed below. If your community is on this list and you’d like to inquire about Xplornet’s services call 1-855-291-3383. If you’d like information about updating your Xplornet Internet package contact us at 1-866-841-6001 today.

And, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you don’t miss next month’s new and upgraded tower update blog post.

Tower’s Name

Province

Date

Community Name

New or Upgraded?

Dundurn West (new) (YL)

Saskatchewan

21-Sept-20

Division No. 11

Upgrade

Mirror (CCI)

Alberta

21-Sept-20

Division No. 8

Upgrade

Ponoka South POP

Alberta

21-Sept-20

Division No. 8

Build

Kelvington (YL)

Saskatchewan

21-Sept-21

Division No. 14

Upgrade

Onanole POP (NS)

Manitoba

21-Sept-21

Division No. 15

Upgrade

Swan River POP (NS)

Manitoba

21-Sept-21

Division No. 20

Upgrade

Woodlands (NS)

Manitoba

21-Sept-21

Division No. 14

Upgrade

Souris POP (NS)

Manitoba

21-Sept-23

Division No. 7

Upgrade

Wilkiesport

Ontario

21-Sept-23

Lambton

Build

Broderick (New) (YL)

Saskatchewan

21-Sept-27

Division No. 11

Upgrade

Cartwright (NS)

Manitoba

21-Sept-27

Division No. 4

Upgrade

Cedar Valley

Ontario

21-Sept-27

Wellington

Upgrade

Christian Island Ferry

Ontario

21-Sept-27

Simcoe

Build

New Scotland

Ontario

21-Sept-27

Chatham-Kent

Build

Rednersville

Ontario

21-Sept-27

Prince Edward

Build

Skiff Lake

New Brunswick

21-Sept-27

York

Upgrade

St. Eustache (NS)

Manitoba

21-Sept-27

Division No. 10

Upgrade

Argentia POP

Newfoundland

21-Sept-30

Division No. 1

Upgrade

Ermineskin

Alberta

21-Sept-30

Division No. 11

Upgrade

Sabourins Crossing

Ontario

21-Sept-30

Ottawa

Upgrade

Busy Bee Corners

Ontario

21-Oct-01

Essex

Upgrade

Melita (NS)

Manitoba

21-Oct-01

Division No. 5

Upgrade

Prices Corner

Ontario

21-Oct-01

Dufferin

Upgrade

Neepawa (NS) POP

Manitoba

21-Oct-04

Division No. 7

Upgrade

Baie Catherine POP

Quebec

21-Oct-07

Charlevoix-Est

Upgrade

Colborne

Ontario

21-Oct-07

Northumberland

Upgrade

Frankville

Ontario

21-Oct-07

Leeds and Grenville

Upgrade

Warings Corner

Ontario

21-Oct-07

Prince Edward

Upgrade

Halls Hills

New Brunswick

21-Oct-08

Westmorland County

Upgrade

Lac-des-Ecorces

Quebec

21-Oct-08

Antoine-Labelle

Upgrade

Saint Francois Xavier POP

Quebec

21-Oct-08

Matawinie

Upgrade

Crooked Lake (YL)

Saskatchewan

21-Oct-13

Division No. 5

Upgrade

Harrow Enerquest POP

Ontario

21-Oct-13

Essex

Upgrade

Jack Ladder POP

Newfoundland

21-Oct-13

Division No. 5

Upgrade

Midhurst

Ontario

21-Oct-13

Simcoe

Build

Harley (New)

Ontario

21-Oct-14

Brant

Upgrade

Bouctouche WT POP

New Brunswick

21-Oct-15

Kent County

Upgrade

Gowanstown

Ontario

21-Oct-15

Perth

Upgrade

Stranraer (YL)

Saskatchewan

21-Oct-15

Division No. 13

Upgrade

Cheminis

Quebec

21-Oct-18

Rouyn-Noranda

Upgrade

Indian Arm POP

Newfoundland

21-Oct-18

Division No. 7

Upgrade

Strathmore South POP

Alberta

21-Oct-18

Division No. 5

Upgrade

Milldale

Ontario

21-Oct-19

Oxford

Upgrade