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Saturday April 15th, 2017

Posted at 11:00am

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MNSi, the third business to provide internet in the Windsor region, opened their doors in September of 1995. They started off offering dial-up internet, and now 22 years later, are among the first to start rolling out fibre internet in Windsor.

The company started their internet offerings with dial-up, and internet speeds would peak at 56 kilobits per second.

Over time, MNSi began offering common DSL internet, with speed peaking at 7 megabits per second.

Now, in the days of fibre, internet speed peaks around 1000 megabits per second.

“It’s very different than it was when we first started business,” said MNSi owner Clayton Zekelman. “Speeds have increased a lot.”

Zekelman always had an interest in technology, previously working in IT, before starting MNSi when he was 26. Now, the company is the longest running local internet provider and they’re bringing the next generation of internet technology to the area.

MNSi owner Clayton Zekelman.

“There was a need for internet service that wasn’t being met,” said Zekelman. “I had been involved in IT and communications for a while, and this was my opportunity to start a company from the ground up and bring it to Windsor.”

MNSi is now building their coverage of fibre internet in the area. It offers superior speed compared to other forms of internet service, according to the company.

“It’s something they’re doing in big cities, and we want to bring it to Windsor,” Zekelman said. “With cable connections, you’re using the cables already in your house. Fibre is a completely new cable. We had to actually physically put them all in. We have to go street by street, house by house. That’s why it’s taking so long.”

An MNSi Fibre terminal.

“The fibre cables we are installing are good for the next 40 year’s upgrades in speed,” he said. “We’re going to the next generation. Anything new anyone is putting in is now fibre.”

A look at an MNSi server.

“As we expand the fibre network, we’re giving exisiting clients of DSL the opportunity to convert to fibre at no cost. We actually dropped our prices and increased speeds this year, in comparison to a lot of companies that are continually raising their prices. Our fibre networks are our independent network, so when other companies raise their network prices ours are not directly affected.”

Batteries back up the server in case of a power outage or emergency, ensuring service is not interrupted.

Officials say these boxes provide better service with Netflix.

A backup generator at the company’s data centre ensure uninterrupted service.

MNSi’s fibre expansion project is pegged at $35-million dollars, and will take at least until 2020 to get the bulk of it done.

“It’s not just an upgrade,” Zekelman explained. “It’s a whole new thing like when they first brought telephone service. We’ve been working on the backbone network to do this since 2008.”

“We’re at about 20% coverage in Windsor, scattered through the city. We go by neighborhood. We have to install the fibre before we offer the service.”

Fibre cables at MNSi’s data centre.

The highly technical data centre is filled with the sounds of fans, keeping electronics working in a proper manner, 24/7.

MNSi prides itself for being a local business.

“We have local technicians that can go out and fix problems,” Zekelman said. “We are building a network so we do not need a middle man. We have complete connection end to end to make more timely responses to services issues and provide quality service. Nothing in our fibre network is contracted out. It’s our network.”

Spot local workers in their MNSi gear.

The company’s current fibre packages include unlimited internet, with no surprise fees.

“What we offer is what the consumer pays,” Zekelman said. “Everyone just wants high-speed and reliable internet. If you’re at home or at work, fibre offers fast download and upload speeds.”

An example of an underground pipe used to to provide fibre internet.

“The best part [of the business] is the people,” said Zekelman. “The people I work with; we’ve got a great team here. And the pride for Windsor, everything is local here. Our tech support and customer service is local. Our servers are downtown.”

A customer service worker at MNSi, Michelle Martin.

An MNSi worker showing the mapping of fibre networks in the area.

In-house tech support working at MNSi.

MNSi’s headquarters are located at 3363 Tecumseh Road East. Interested in their internet services? You can contact them at 519-258-2333. Learn more about their services and what they offer on their website here.

You can also see if MNSi’s fibre network is available to you yet, here.

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