CEO Rob Barlow Shares Direction for 2018 with Jaymie Scotto Cutaia

At PTC’18, one of the most important telecommunications events for the Pacific Rim, our CEO, Rob Barlow, met up with JSA TV’s Jaymie Scotto Cutaia to discuss the company’s latest developments and where it is headed for the rest of 2018.

Overall, throughout 2017, WireIE experienced continuous growth providing leading-class high-speed network solutions in underserved markets in Canada and around the world. We bolstered our reputation as an expert in underserved connectivity by consistently exceeding our network performance and reliability objectives throughout the year.

For 2018, we are maintaining our focus on making it possible for individuals and enterprises in underserved areas to take full advantage of the digital economy. By using both fiber and microwave technologies in the delivery of high-availability networks, we are a partner of choice for industry and governments in need of reliable, secure connectivity for their mission-critical applications. WireIE prides itself on its ability to extend carrier networks to remote and hard to reach locations, bringing the metropolitan broadband experience to the underserved and promoting regional economic development.

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Unplanned outages are expensive, and the cost of those outages is exponentially rising. As clients rely heavily on their network connectivity, even slight downtime could have the potential to cost the enterprise money, time and frustration. Networks continue to be more and more valuable to the enterprises they serve, and having a strong and reliable business continuity plan is essential for every network.

According to a 2013 study from the Ponemon Institute, the cost per minute of unplanned downtime is $7,900—a staggering amount for sixty seconds, and a dramatic 41% increase from the previous 2010 study. It is reported that 76% of all enterprises experience an outage per year, while 50% of small and mid-size businesses have no recovery plan at all. Yet a strong and reliable network is crucial for preventing outages and saving enterprises of all sizes an exorbitant amount of money and – importantly – trust from their client bases.

At WireIE we believe a strong and reliable business continuity strategy requires a strong and reliable network. Our three-pronged approach to success is what has kept unnecessary downtime at bay. With our best-in-class, hybrid Ethernet technology and equipment engineered to withstand extreme environments; intelligent monitoring and early intervention practices; and an emergency response network to quickly resolve issues, we set standards to eliminate network downtime before it even happens.

For WireIE, remote locations and strong, consistent demand for bandwidth keep us working diligently to deliver the most reliable networks possible. WireIE delivers a state-of-the-art, high-capacity and reliable network: no matter what.

Downtime is an unfortunate occurrence for many service providers, but our network is best in class every day to minimize the impact of network downtime for our customers. People take their networks for granted, until they go down. Don’t let that happen, and unleash your potential with WireIE.

The Canadian winter of 2013-14 made for some harsh conditions throughout the country. Between the never-ending snowfalls and the ice storm in Ontario, we knew we were in for a challenge. Not only did WireIE survive this winter, we thrived. To the harsh conditions we say: bring it on.

WireIE prides itself on being an “anywhere, anytime” kind of company, providing Ethernet to underserved areas of Canada. Our engineering, operational best practices and state-of-the-art equipment helped us flourish through this difficult winter and deliver quality CE standard services.

WireIE’s three-pronged approach to success: best-in-class Ethernet technology and equipment engineered for the environment; intelligent monitoring and early intervention practices; and an emergency response network to quickly resolve issues. The Ethernet equipment we use is designed to withstand the tough Canadian environment. When deployed, the equipment is housed in temperature-regulated structures which strategically creates a barrier between it and the weather.

WireIE extends existing networks to places where terrain does not allow for fiber deployment, or where trenching fiber is impractical. The WireIE team can deploy digital radio technology, faster and more efficiently than building networks with fiber. Where possible, we leverage existing structures to gain vertical height enabling strong signal transmission in all weather; this can reduce construction cost and assembly time. We find intelligent routes to connect underserved locations, while still fulfilling our high standards for quality of service and technical excellence.
Our best in class Network Operations practice gives us the ability to effectively monitor and manage network performance. We provide early intervention services, where our technical experts are able to preemptively solve problems before they occur. Finally, our strategically deployed emergency response team works day and night to ensure on-site troubleshooting if needed. We take a proactive approach to sparing and resource management which allows us to respond to and resolve issues quickly.

WireIE’s experiencing tremendous growth with the number of circuits provisioned and managed in 2013 alone. Our ability to sustain quality of service with consistently high performance and availability is a testament to the effectiveness of our change management practice. We are experts in preventing complex changes from having an adverse effect on the stability and performance of our services.

WireIE didn’t just survive this winter, we thrived. Even through the harshest conditions, WireIE remains a reliable, consistent and high-quality partner that delivers results with exceptional client experience.

To visualize the magnitude of the ice storm in Ontario, WireIE is giving away complimentary copies of the Toronto Star’s Ice Storm Ontario; a stunning photography depiction of the storm. If you’re interested in receiving your free copy, please email us at

About WireIE: We deliver carrier-grade Transparent Ethernet Solutions backed by SLAs. With a custom blend of fiber and digital to suit your circumstances, we transform, extend and support your communications networks in rural and remote areas. +1.905.882.4660 | |

Standardized traffic signals allows for orderly transportation. Standardization in certain medical procedures allows for vaccinations to be developed, and exceedingly complex medical procedures to enjoy mass adoption. Standardization in manufacturing technologies allows for mass production. Without standardization in virtually every aspect of our lives, the world would be a very different place today.

Back in the early 1980’s when Ethernet was established as the standard for local area networks (LAN), it quickly enjoyed mass-adoption when the benefits were realized. As business applications outgrew its capabilities, Carrier Ethernet services were developed. In 2001, the Metro-Ethernet Forum (MEF) was formed to standardize Carrier Ethernet services that have enabled its widespread adoption throughout the Private and Public sectors, specifically those that require “always on, always connected” environments. The MEF’s certification programs (CE 1.0 and CE 2.0) also certifies Service Providers, and Hardware manufacturers, allowing them to operate with the highest levels of expertise. This simplifies business decisions for CEOs and CIOs who demand networks that support mission critical applications, with the highest levels of availability, backed by service level guarantees.

CE2-0-certifiedCompanies like WireIE, which hold MEF CE 2.0 Certification – the most superior level of certification offered by the MEF – allows its Carrier and Channel partners to leverage its high-availability Carrier Ethernet services to reach under-served areas in Canada, truly changing the landscape of “off-net.” No longer are applications such as unified communications, tele-presence, business continuity, and strategic analytics reserved for well-connected metropolitan city-centers. Now, all industries can leverage these productivity-enhancing, cost-saving applications regardless of their location.

The world, as we know it, is changing once again!

In 1965 an observation was made by David House that over the history of computing hardware, the processing power of a minimal cost computer chip would double approximately every two years – Moore’s Law. While the impact of that forecast has been widely accepted and credited with significant advances in technology and associated economic benefits, there is an important forecast that applies to the power and value of networks, known as Metcalfe’s Law. The simplest way to apply this law is to look at the value of one fax machine which is useless on its own and as soon as you start to increase the number of fax machines, you increase the number of people who can send and receive faxes. While there is no specific timeline attached to Metcalfe’s law, advances in network size and capacity along with the mobile computing and communications revolution, have made the impact of Metcalfe’s law perhaps even more significant that its processing power counterpart.

We definitely “get more” out of the devices and networks that we use by virtue of their size and reach. Metcalfe’s law was defined by device only – today it also applies to the network effect most commonly discussed in reference to social networks. For example, if Facebook were a nation it would be larger than the United States and would rank itself just behind China and India in population.

I believe the most transformative aspect of the network effect or Metcalfe’s law is in an economic context. We are witnessing firsthand how the whole paradigm of enterprise computing is shifting to a cloud based model. This is allowing for even greater levels of distribution and provisioning of services and applications across both urban, rural and remote locations.

You can draw a direct line from the now dominant importance of SLAs in our business to the network effect described in Metcalfe’s Law. When the power and capacity of the connections becomes standard, only the reliability and performance of the network can impact its value to customers. In our opinion, the impact of the network effect and Metcalfe’s Law is significantly larger in rural and remote communities because of the fact that the multiplier effect is allowing business to take a substantial leap forward from the negative effects of decades of living off restricted and narrow network capacity.

The tide is shifting on acceptance and adoption of microwave radio as a viable alternative or supplement to fibre and economics may dictate more of the same.

For many in the telecommunications industry the recognition of microwave as a viable alternative to fibre to create carrier grade bandwidth with industry leading latency is not old news.

It has been frustrating to witness that the marketplace has not recognized this fact in a substantial and meaningful way. That does appear to be changing.

Late last year, Jason Bunge of Dow Jones wrote about the pace and level of high speed microwave adoption that has taken place recently in the securities exchange markets in North America and Europe. His article highlights how the deployment of high speed broadband over microwave is about to outpace fibre network deployment this year. As Bunge notes this is an industry where milliseconds count and where the highest standards of speed and network reliability are considered essential.

What is driving the change is cost efficiency and timeliness as the exchange business needs to address declining trade volumes by increasing speed and efficiency in their markets without breaking the bank to do it.

Many consider the capital markets to be technology leaders in the Financial Services (FS) sector and highly influential concerning the use and adoption of technology and telecom innovation. If the leaders of the FS sector are ready to make the jump to microwave radio it bodes well for the broader adoption of this standard within that sector and beyond.

Consider for a moment that the economics is driving the shift away from fibre and it becomes clear that there are other sectors that could likewise realize the same benefits and make the switch. If not for primary connections to office locations, it will be used as secondary to locations that have fibre available. Industries like oil and gas extraction, mining, Manufacturing, retail and the public sector are all witness to both exponential growth in data and the opportunity to use data to quickly and effectively deliver innovative new products and services to an increasingly “high demand” business place. If it is also recognized as an alternative or supplement that is more cost effective than traditional fibre deployment, widespread adoption of microwave radio  is not far behind? It is not the innovation of technology that is the biggest driver of change but the “mother of necessity” economics that makes change all the more compelling.

– Rob Barlow, CEO

About WireIE: We deliver carrier-grade Transparent Ethernet Solutions backed by SLAs. With a custom blend of fiber and digital to suit your circumstances, we transform, extend and support your communications networks in rural and remote areas. +1.905.882.4660 | |

On June 8, 2012, the Government of Ontario took the next step in their Clean Energy Economic Development Strategy, with the release of the Clean Energy Institute (CEI). The new institute will bring together industry leaders and utility companies to build on Ontario’s strengths in smart grid technologies and other clean energy innovations.

In conjunction with the CEI, Mars hosted the Future Energy Summit focused on bringing some of the top minds in clean energy to give feedback and help design the Smart Grid we need. A smarter grid will spearhead better tools to manage electricity use, help utilities prevent, detect and restore outages and ultimately connect every home and building to a renewable energy grid, therefore, decreasing green house gas emissions.

WireIE contributes to the Smart Grid by partnering with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) to define the operational requirements of a communications network supporting Smart Grid. By modeling various rural and urban electricity distribution scenarios, communication network specifications have been developed. This collaboration continues as WireIE sponsors the study and modeling of new Smart Grid applications.

WireIE is now part of this new funding released today by the Energy Minister for a Durham region trial. This will advance our current research into a live production environment. As a Smart Grid future is enabled in Ontario WireIE will continue to lead with its partners.

For more information on Ontario’s Clean Energy Institute:

For more information on Smart Grid projects:

For more information about Microwave Technologies for Carrier Ethernet Services, download this MEF document

About WireIE: We deliver carrier-grade Transparent Ethernet Solutions backed by SLAs. With a custom blend of fiber and digital to suit your circumstances, we transform, extend and support your communications networks in rural and remote areas. +1.905.882.4660 | |

Canadian Green Tech recently spoke with WireIE President & CEO, Rob Barlow, regarding the role green technology plays as an ingredient in defining the WireIE brand. The following article is reproduced with permission from the author.

Enabling as Brand

Written by Lars Hansen
Tuesday, 01 March 2011 13:02

One of the key considerations that often enter into building and enhancing a corporate brand for your business is to determine its focus. A secondary and often overlooked consideration is brand extension.

It is a practice borne of migrating the value of one specific product or service into a secondary product or service category. There are many examples of this tactic including the well-known ones such as Tylenol where the brand has been extended across numerous other product categories beyond pain relief or Virgin where the company has rolled out numerous new divisions offering completely different and unique service categories. Some would say that a business such as Virgin is in fact a “brand extension” factory that rents its brand out to new ventures and sectors without restriction.

In contrast however, there exists in many business scenarios a means to extend your business brand in a very immediate fashion by first and foremost considering what your brand “enables” for your clients. For the green energy sector this consideration should be made carefully to recognize and appreciate if the concept you have of your business is shared or is plausible to the customers you support. If you don’t do a meaningful and objective consideration of your value in the green equation you may open yourself up to questions of “green washing” and diminish your brand value overall by being seen as opportunistic instead of genuine.

If you achieved positive results from an objective analysis of your “value” as it relates to having a real impact on the development and provision of sustainable and environmentally friendly products and services, you may want to give serious consideration to extending your corporate brand as an enabler.

One approach to this is to understand if you have to explain how your product is an enabler that helps create a greener outcome or if it flows logically from what you are already doing. If there isn’t a logical connection you may still want to extend your brand in that direction but recognize that it will take more effort and time compared to simply adding voice and volume to something your business and your customers will already recognize.

WireIE is a telecommunications consulting firm who has moved their business in recent years into smart grid enablement. Smart Grids have been an integral focus of discussion around infrastructure renewal, green energy generation and distribution for some time now. However the actual operational demands for creating and managing a smart grid have received relatively less attention. The focus of WireIE is to apply their wireless communications knowledge and experience to the specific challenges of creating the “intelligence or data layer” of operational smart grids.

In this role, WireIE confidently sees it self as a true enabler of smart grid deployments and in effect a vital part of the equation required to bring more alternative/green energy generation online in place like Ontario.

“When we deliver a technology or service we assess our ability to include green deliverables and operational strategies in the finished product internally and to the client,” says Rob Barlow, president and CEO of WireIE. “It does not affect our brand; it is built into our brand and our culture.”

One of the benefits that this affords to WireIE is the way in which it makes the firm important to the green conversation for its clients who very often might have green aspirations and plans but are not well equipped to overcome on their own the challenges they face in realizing those plans.

By actively promoting their “green enabler” status Barlow feels that they are showcasing how they are a practical benefit to the challenges faced by distributors and generators looking to make their plans for smart grid deployment.

“We affirm our ability to be an important part of the conversation on green and sustainable development with our clients by presenting our services in that light,” he says. “It makes it easier for us and for our customers. We are ‘assuring’ that green or sustainable development has already been thought of, assessed as a constraint or assumption in whatever we deliver.”

Staking out this brand territory is at the same time not something that WireIE leaves as an isolated consideration. The company actively engages in making its “important to the conversation” status well earned through investments in R&D that are serving to simultaneously advance the industry’s ability to successfully deploy and operate smart grids in a manner that is practical, cost effective and well planned. Smart grid deployments in themselves create a series of new and unique challenges associated with migrating power grids from the traditional mega project and base load architecture of the past into a more flexible architecture. This new paradigm contemplates a broader use of distributed and intermittent power sources along with variable rate metering options and changing status for business and individuals as both consumers and generators of power the grid.

WireIE sees these challenges as opportunities to make real their commitment to smart grid enablement and to share and communicate with customers how they can help bring sustainability to life.

“We participate at the university research level, by participating in developing intellectual property for smart grid on boarding of alternative energy,” said Barlow. “We partner with organizations that have the same approach to sustainability and green and then actively share that research insight through blogging, tweeting and promoting our own whitepapers and activities.”

It’s an approach that has helped WireIE to build a new and meaningful brand extension into a market where their knowledge base and expertise are finding new applications and creating benefits for customers in the green energy sector.

Lars Hansen is the Principal and Founder of C2E Consulting, a marketing and communications agency based in Toronto. He can be reached at For more information on C2E Consulting, go to

This post is the first in a series on Cloud Computing from the point of view of the network operator. We’ll provide an overview of the current cloudscape including the prominent players and their services. The series will wrap up with a discussion on bandwidth considerations for the network operator.


Desktop computing supported by the Local Area Network (LAN) has served business very well over the past couple of decades. The evolution of Ethernet has seen LAN speed and performance increase exponentially, while the adoption of IP has allowed us to internetwork LANs. This fundamental infrastructure hastened adoption of the World Wide Web – giving the human race access to infinite sources of knowledge, information, entertainment and social interaction. While it may seem hard to improve on such an incredible series of events, two related developments have exposed some constraints, and with them, opportunities.

The first is the progression in portability and mobility of end user devices. Laptop computers have become lighter and smaller while also becoming more computationally powerful and battery efficient. Today, the laptop shares the human productivity stage with smart phones and tablets. Clearly, device portability has become a fundamental user expectation.

The second is the profound evolution of cellular-based wireless network technology. First generation AMPS networks were launched as LANs were in their infancy. We now live in a 3G+ packet switched wireless world where data speeds on these networks rival landline data services of not too many years ago.

It is the portability of end user devices, combined with the performance and ubiquity of data networks, that has fueled the adoption of Cloud Computing. From a business perspective, the key driver is for many webcos (such as Google and Amazon) is to enhance their core offering through value added services in the cloud.

We thought you would enjoy this clip from Ronnie Corbett and Harry Enfield as it gives a humorous look at our business.