City gets telecom dividend

·2 min read

THUNDER BAY, ONT. — Tbaytel has released its Forward Together: 2021 Report to the Community after presenting City Council with their shareholder report last week.

With a heightened focus on cost control and efficiencies to maintain strong financial performance, Tbaytel reported earnings of more than $217 million in revenue in 2021.

From this, a fixed and performance dividend totalling $ 21.9 million was issued to the City of Thunder Bay.

In recent years, $18.5 million plus a performance dividend of $2.6 million was issued to the city in 2020, and $18 million plus a performance dividend of $568,000 was issued in 2019.

Tbaytel has returned more than $339 million in dividends to the city since its inception in 2004.

Dan Topatigh, Tbaytel president and CEO says this demonstrates the strong support they receive from their loyal customer base.

“The $21.9 million dividend in 2021 is a positive sign for Tbaytel’s continued growth and reaffirms our commitment to the City of Thunder Bay and its rate payers that we will continue to deliver a sustainable rate of return while investing in our networks, supporting communities throughout our region and being an economic driver for Northern Ontario,” he said.

Over the year, Tbaytel developed partnerships with Oliver Paipoonge, Terrace Bay, Marathon and the Thunder Bay Economic Development Commission to provide state-of-the-art fibre service to those areas in the coming years. Ongoing fibre investment in Thunder Bay means Tbaytel can now deliver Fibre to 97 per cent of Thunder Bay.

Developing technology with the installation of new mobility towers and the addition of LTE to sites throughout the region to increase the speed and capacity of Tbaytel’s mobility network continued to evolve in 2021.

“Tbaytel has played an essential role for people in Northern Ontario throughout the uncertainties of COVID-19,” said Topatigh. “Keeping our customers connected and meeting increased demands for our products and services while ensuring our staff was safe have been top priorities throughout the past two years along with heightening our focus on cost control and efficiencies in how we deliver our services.”

Through its Tbaytel for Good sponsorship program, Tbaytel contributed more than $719,000 to organizations, people and events in 10 communities during 2021. These contributions include Wake the Giant, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine’s Tbaytel Entrance Award fund and the largest ever Tbaytel for Good Community Fund awards to-date.

“Supporting the people, places and organizations that make Northern Ontario the great place that it is will always be an important part of who we are at Tbaytel,” says Topatigh. “Last year’s $719,000 in sponsorship funding supported everything from concerts to medical students as well as our largest Tbaytel for Good Community Fund to-date that saw organizations across our region make their dream projects a reality.”

Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal

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