BCE Inc. (Bell; TSX: BCE, NYSE: BCE) reveals it has completed its acquisition of Calgary-based Axia NetMedia Corp. Axia Netmedia operated parts of Alberta’s SuperNet, an Alberta broadband network that connects provincial and municipal offices, indigenous communities, schools, libraries, healthcare institutions, businesses, and Internet service providers throughout the province. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Bell announced its intention to acquire Axia NetMedia this past July. The incumbent service provider already owned and operated SuperNet network assets serving 27 urban centers in Alberta and announced that month that it had been awarded a contract to operate the rest of the network. The acquisition of Axia NetMedia, which operated the rural parts of Supernet, puts Bell firmly in control of the Supernet broadband infrastructure.
Launched in 2005, SuperNet consists of more than 13,000 km of fiber and 2,000 km of high-speed wireless links. The infrastructure connects more than 3,300 government services and public institutions including over 1,950 learning centers, 650 government locations, 300 healthcare facilities, 300 libraries, and 90 Alberta municipalities. In addition, 43 First Nations in the Treaty 6, 7, and 8 regions and 8 Métis settlements have SuperNet connectivity within or adjacent to their communities.
"Bell welcomes the Axia team as we move forward together in executing our new multi-year SuperNet partnership with the Government of Alberta," said Dan McKeen, Bell's vice chair, Western Canada. "The integration of Axia's seasoned Alberta team with Bell's national scale and established SuperNet assets across the province enables both the seamless delivery of SuperNet services and accelerated innovation opportunities for broadband users throughout Alberta."
The integrated Bell-Axia team will be led by McKeen and Ryan Klassen, who will be responsible for all day-to-day operations in the newly created role of vice president, business solutions and Axia Group.
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