A leading-edge wireless and fibre network: Meet our client GBTEL

11-01-2022

In an exclusive interview with the Founder, Richard Gils, we discussed how they became an internet service provider. With a mission to help their local economy flourish while providing their residents with quality service.

How did it all start?

GBTEL is an Internet Service Provider (ISP) started in 2005, located in the Owen Sound and surrounding areas. With a primary focus to service customers in hard-to-reach areas that, for the most part, major providers have ignored. The business started when founders Richard Gils and David Gils were vacationing at Richard’s in-laws’ cottage and had absolutely no internet.

Richard’s background was in networking, Outside Plant Construction(OSP), and had built and consulted several ISPs through the late ’90s and early 2000s while attending university. Subsequently, the Gils brothers built a small wireless ISP plant that quickly indicated a significant demand for a faster, more geographically encompassing solution throughout Central and Northern Grey/Bruce.

They quickly grew their network by daisy-chaining towers together, often working with farmers that had existing structures such as silos, to spread their network. By 2009, they started to branch their network into fiber optics and shortly thereafter moved to become a CLEC under the CRTC.

What is different about GBTEL?

Several things. GBTEL is highly local to the Owen Sound Grey/Bruce area. Once of its core philosophies is developing local talent to help the local economy flourish. We also work to train and improve the talent of our employees on a regular basis.

Not only does this improve the company but it also helps to improve the lives of the local staff with better skill-sets and better internal and external employment opportunities. Using these improved skill-sets we set out to isolate specific opportunities to increase productivity and information solutions.

To that end, we have built our own custom CRM that connects directly into our fibre and wireless network that provides both sales and troubleshooting solutions.

What are you most proud of?

GBTEL has built a leading-edge wireless and fibre network from essentially nothing. The productivity that we have squeezed out from the system has been enormous. Our CRM is leading edge and provides us with a high degree of tools and flexibility that supports our employees and customers.

What are your future projects?

We are looking at integrating predictive functions through AI into our CRM along with our custom GIS solutions. It’s a big project but we think it will address a significant number of issues on the design side of building next-generation fibre networks. Network design is an onerous and sometimes highly technical task. Creating design efficiencies using comparative algorithms may yield significant time savings for ourselves and our customers.

Learn more about GBTEL and their services: https://www.gbtel.ca/

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It has been a pleasure working with GBTEL team and we are looking forward to seeing their future projects!

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