Two cities ink deals with Stream Networks

Toronto-based Stream Intelligent Networks Corp. has announced it has entered into agreements with the City of Toronto and Mississauga, Ont.’s hydro utility to help create the underlying infrastructure required to meet the expanding broadband requirements of both cities’ business communities.

Following the successful implementation of a pilot project earlier this year, Hydro Mississauga and Stream have entered into a joint venture to build a high-speed hybrid fibre optic and wireless network that will provide data communication services for the City of Mississauga. Also, Stream’s Municipal Access Agreement (MAA) with the City of Toronto will allow the company to expand its high-speed fibre optic network anywhere within the Toronto Megacity.

Franco Lofranco, vice-president of business development for Stream said, “The combination of the Toronto MAA and the Hydro Mississauga joint venture are essential to capturing the high-growth broadband requirements of the GTA (Greater Toronto Area).” Lofranco added that Stream’s ability to build an independent network in these two cities is a unique differentiator in the broadband marketplace, and will allow Stream to “leverage its new proprietary technologies in providing high-speed communications services in the GTA.”

According to Stream, the Hydro Mississauga venture, the first of its kind in Canada between an electric utility and a data carrier, will allow Hydro Mississauga to maximize its existing assets, represented by its rights of way and knowledge of its customer base. For the city’s businesses, this represents an important step towards the era of ubiquitous high-speed, reliable data communications services.

“We’ve been looking for a partnership that would be rewarding for both the utility and for our broadbased customer and the clients that we intend to service in the future, and Stream seemed to be the company that had the potential to do that,” said Ron Starr, executive chair and acting president and CEO of Hydro Mississuaga. “I think telecommunications is where we’re going to be. We have a core business of electrons…but I think that business has to recognize where we’re going with telecommunications.” Instead of being a renter of its facilities, such as wires, rights of way, and polls, Starr said Hydro Mississauga wants to be “in the equity/ownership part of it.”

Leveraging its current equity with its future telecommunications plans will help Hydro Mississauga do a better job for its already-established customer base, said Starr.

The scope of the Toronto MAA includes installing, operating and maintaining underground fibre optic transmission lines, providing customers on Stream’s network with a highly reliable, robust data communications infrastructure, said Lofranco.

“Welcome to the world of competition,” said Toronto councillor and chairman of the Telecommunications Steering Committee, John Adams. “We subscribe to the philosophy that competition is good, and in particular, people who want to build networks, particularly fibre optic – the wave of the future. So, let’s get on with the future.”

He added: “We’re all excited about the new age of telecommunications and high bandwidth and we have to get on to liberating the process so that people can build their networks. Let’s go and make music together.”

Joe Greene, vice-president, telecom and Internet research with Toronto-based IDC Canada Ltd., sees these types of agreements as a growing trend, particularly with the utility companies.

“For Stream it’s very good news because now they can go to other utility companies and other people with rights of way and negotiate with the fact that they have experience in this,” he said. “In the downtown core, it’s going to increase the capacity and may change the City’s attitude to other vendors that want to do the same.”

According to Starr, the terms of the agreement with Hydro Mississauga have yet to be inked, but are expected to be finalized within 60 days of the July 6 announcement. For more information on Stream, visit