Shaw to buy Calgary service provider

Shaw Communications is strengthening its networking solutions for business in Calgary by buying the communications division of a the city-owned energy company.

CEO Brad Shaw said Monday that his company will spend about $225 million for Enmax Envision Inc., a division of Enmax Corp. that offer high speed connectivity.

“The combination of Envision and Shaw Business will create a very competitive value proposition for Calgary’s business customers looking for leading connectivity, integrated services, and effective and responsive service,”  Shaw said in a news release. “This transaction catapults our growth in the competitive Calgary business marketplace, and demonstrates our resolve to grow this segment of our business.”

“We look forward to expanding Shaw Business with a highly attractive offering for Calgary’s business community, including products and services complementary to those currently offered by Envision.”

Both Shaw and Enmax turned down requests for interviews to expand on their press statements. Enmax did say it has been actively looking to sell Envision.
The deal is expected to close shortly.
Meanwhile Tuesday morning Shaw and Alcatel-Lucent announced the completion of what they call the first North American field trial of a 400 Gbps live data transmission over an existing optical link.
The trial ran over a 400-km stretch of line between Calgary and Edmonton on a network designed for speeds up to 100 Gbps. The trial, using Alcatel-Lucent’s 1830 Photonic Service Switch with a 400G Photonic Service Engine , showed the ability of an existing optical network to carry twice the amount of current traffic — up to 17.6 Terabits per second of data, equivalent to 266 million voice calls.
Shaw said in a statement this could lead to new services such as high-capacity data centre connectivity and more economical delivery of streaming video or telepresence.
Alcatel recently did a similar trial in France.
There was no date set on when Shaw will put this into commercial use.
Envision has been in business since 2001, but it’s a small part of Enmax. Owned by the city of Calgary, Enmax had overall revenue in 2012 of $3.1 billion and a profit of $225 million providing electricity and natural gas to businesses and homes.
 Envision has over 735 km of MPLS-based fibre optic across Calgary connecting some 275 business customers in over 490 buildings. It also connects directly with the biggest telco hotel in Toronto at 151 Front St.

Envision can offer symmetrical speeds of up to 10 Gbps. It offers a 15-day installation guarantee for network-ready locations.

Products include high speed Internet, QoS-enabled optical Ethernet services and MPLS connectivity, Fibre Channel solutions and dark fibre services.

Shaw [TSX.SJR.B] is following other cable companies expanding their business offerings to compete against incument telephone companies. For example in December, Cogeco Inc., which operates in Quebec and Ontario, announced a deal to buy Peer 1 Networks.  Peer 1 operates across the country.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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