Storm Internet shifts ownership structure amid new competition

Broadband internet

Storm Internet Services, which has served Eastern Ontario with fixed wireless broadband since 1996, said this week that it now has a sole owner.

Christie & Walther Communications Ltd. has sold its interest in Storm to Birket Foster. Charles Walther, president of Christie & Walther, and Foster have served as owners and directors and shared the duties as chairman of Storm since 2003. Walther has decided to sell his interest in Storm as he transitions to retirement.

“Storm is grateful for Charles’ services these past 17 years as a director and shareholder of Storm and, on behalf of Storm, we wish him continued success as he moves into the next chapter of his life,” Foster said in a release.

Foster is the founder of MB Foster and Associates, a Chesterville-based business that has been delivering data access and delivery products and services to area businesses since the late ’70s. He will assume the role of chairman and chief enablement officer of Storm with the mandate to continue the growth of the company’s commercial and residential lines of business.

“Even with this change of control in ownership of Storm, all of us here will continue working closely together in order to provide quality internet service as well as exceptional client experience to all of our clients,” chief financial officer Danny Frangione said in a statement.

Storm delivers high-speed internet access to residential and small-to-medium-sized business clients in Eastern Ontario and the Ottawa Valley. 

The company has also reported that it has been busy in recent weeks helping customers working from home in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with services to support video conferencing, VPNs and edutainment applications. 

Earlier this year, Storm issued a statement to “set the record straight” in response to Bell Canada’s announced intention to begin delivering fixed, wireless broadband services to Leeds, Grenville and Lanark to address a supposed broadband internet “gap.”

In a statement, Michel Lalonde – Storm’s vice-president of operations and sales, said the company welcomed the competition.

“Storm Internet Services has been blanketing that region with wireless broadband service for many years. And our customers already enjoy speeds and performance leaps and bounds faster than the LTE service Bell Canada has yet to deploy.”