2023 has been an eventful year, full of opportunities, innovation and growth.
Our 35th year has inspired us to look back on Beanfield’s history and everything we have achieved and there’s no denying that our gaze is set firmly on the future.
This year started with a renewed commitment to becoming a national Telco in our own right, and offering Canadian families and businesses a true alternative to the incumbents. We made a number of changes at the organizational level in order to support that goal. By summer, we found a new partner right here in Ontario, in OMERS Infrastructure. They understood and believed in our company culture, and supported our desire to continue building our network across the country.
Summer, 2023 also saw the appointment of Lucie Laplante as new Chief Financial Officer. Lucie not only brings a wealth of financial and operational expertise that will no doubt be instrumental in driving our growth, she is also a fan of the Beanfield Way. In her own words:
“I’ve always admired Beanfield’s commitment to the community and their values. It’s obvious they operate with a customer-first mentality, one which I recognize as a key differentiator in the telecommunications industry. I look forward to working with the entire team and supporting the ongoing growth of Beanfield,” Lucie Laplante
Speaking of growing…
Beanfield is now 472 employees strong, working from 6 locations in 3 cities. Like most companies operating in tech, women are relatively under represented. But we’re working hard to correct that. We’re proud to see more and more talented women thriving in our ranks!
We have always prided ourselves in being a Great Place to Work. But you don’t have to take our word for it. In October, 2023, Beanfield was certified as a Great Place to Work™ Canada. This certification speaks volumes to our commitment to developing a positive workplace culture and prioritizing employee well-being. At Beanfield, we recognize that our team is our greatest asset, and we strive to create an environment where every employee feels empowered and supported.
Our network grew as well…
Here are some 2023 highlights of our network expansion & improvement:
- We added 142 km of optical fibre to our network, bringing our total fibre km to 4,430;
- We connected 267 more commercial buildings and 59 more residential buildings to our network;
- We expanded the Beanfield core network across the country, bringing commercial & residential services into Vancouver & Surrey;
- We completed amplification of our core Toronto & Montreal Metro Wave network to deploy 100G wave services faster & without costly regenerations;
- We told the story of the heroic efforts to repair our network after a cable chamber fire in Montreal;
- We shared how we have been integrating electric tools into our network construction operations as part of our larger commitment to sustainable development and responsible business practices;
- We released How We Lay Our Fibre – a behind-the-scenes peek at the entire network construction process.
July was a month for product innovations
Beanfield prides itself in making the best technologies accessible to our residential and business customers. As such, we’re constantly innovating and improving our service offering. 2023 was no exception. In July, we went to market with not one, but two game-changing products:
Our residential customers saw their basic service upgraded, as we doubled our standard download speed to 2 Gbps – at no extra cost! We promise even faster residential Internet speeds in the near future… not that you’re likely to need them!
On the commercial side of things, Beanfield joined a select group of Canadian telecommunication providers to leverage Operator Connect to add calling to Microsoft Teams. In true Beanfield fashion, we are the only telco in Canada to have structured our offering to make it accessible to small and medium-sized businesses.
After all this time, we’re still here for our community
Beanfield was founded with an activist spirit. As the story goes, our founders were dismayed that small businesses in their community of Liberty Village were suffering from poor Internet connectivity. They stepped up to the plate and built a fibre network throughout their neighbourhood to support their community, and we have been taking care of our community ever since.
At the grassroots-level…
Among countless other community organizations and initiatives, Beanfield is a long-time supporter of Sistema Toronto, a local organization that provides music education and creates opportunities for underserved communities. This year, Beanfield helped cement the success of Sistema Toronto’s 2023 Spirit Gala: an annual fundraising event that not only helps finance Sistema’s programming, but also helps build community around the program, its participants, and its supporters.
In June, 2023, Beanfield partnered with evenko and became the named sponsor of one of Montreal’s most beautiful cultural venues located in the heart of Little Burgundy: the renowned and historic Corona Theatre. Now known as the Théâtre Beanfield, it will be the city’s top launchpad for emerging artists. To give both audiences and performers a world-class experience, the renovated venue will boast improved greenrooms and backstage areas, as well as Beanfield’s top-notch high-speed fibre Internet.
This year, more than ever, we found it of utmost importance to celebrate Pride in Toronto and Montreal. Members of the community in Toronto were treated to the Second Annual Pride Primer – a family-friendly party in Toronto’s Bentway, benefiting Friends of Ruby. In Montreal, we teamed up with Fierté Montréal to produce Connexion Montréal: a queer cabaret showcasing emerging artists, benefiting Jeunesse Lambda. As a 2SLGBTQA+ founded and run company, Pride month holds not only a special place in our hearts, but a vital importance for our lives. The unfortunate truth is, we are used to receiving a couple pieces of hate and bigotry when announcing that we’re hosting or sponsoring a Pride event, however, this year were sad to see that the response has been more disturbing than ever. That said, we remain undeterred, and will continue to embrace the history of activism and responsibility that Pride represents.
And advocating for fairness, equity and access
We’re on a mission to make connectivity as accessible as clean water and electricity – and to have no one left out or left behind. From predatory pricing (where competitors set their prices lower than their costs to ensure they suffocate the growth of others) to monopolistic practices (planning with developers to bulk supply a building – denying choice to residents and keeping competition out), fighting for fair competition among telecom companies, and for transparency and access for all Canadians is an uphill battle. But in 2023, we were here for it!
In October, 2023, we submitted a “Part 1 Application” to the CRTC asking them to put a stop to the anti-competitive and unfair practice of entering into bulk deals with multiple dwelling unit (MDU) developers, thus robbing future residents of their choice of provider. In addition to fighting for a more competitive and fair landscape for the industry, at the policy level, we’re helping to bridge the digital divide wherever we can. As of July, 2023, Beanfield has been participating in the Connecting Families Initiative by providing eligible families an opportunity to access high speed internet at a below-market cost.
Thank you to all our employees and customers who have made this another monumental year. You’re the reason we keep growing and striving to deliver reliable connectivity from coast to coast.
How it should be.