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Tbnewswatch Local News
Saturday May 23 2015
3:14 AM EDT
2014-05-07 at 11:11

Tbaytel boost

New Tbaytel Municipal Service Board chair Jack Jamieson thinks the company is in a good position to grow.
Jamie Smith,
New Tbaytel Municipal Service Board chair Jack Jamieson thinks the company is in a good position to grow.
By Jamie Smith,

THUNDER BAY -- Tbaytel’s new board chair remains optimistic that the company can increase its dividend to the city in the coming years.

Jack Jamieson, who replaces Michael Power as chair of the Tbaytel Municipal Services Board, said the dividend this year is at least $17 million with the possibility for more.

Upgrades to LTE for mobile devices along with increasing the fibre internet and digital TV customer base could go a long way to see a bump in this year's dividend and the years ahead.

"It's always a possibility," he said. "There are many challenges and projects ahead of us."

Jamieson, a board member since 2008, has heard concerns about the company's plan to take on $10 million in debt, but debt is part of any business, especially in telecommunications.

Borrowing helps a company invest in itself long-term and allows it to grow. Compared to the rest of the industry, Tbaytel is in a comfortable position when it comes to debt.

"Our balance sheet would be the envy of any of the other company in the Canadian telecommunications industry," he said.

As for being shut out of the recent 700 MHz spectrum auction, Jamieson said that shouldn't be cause for concern about the company's capacity. Seven-hundred is good for high-density areas like downtown Toronto.

Tbaytel has a different footprint in the region with its own 800 MHz and 2500MHz spectrum along with the ability to get some help from its partnership with Rogers if needed. The bids got too high in the auction and Tbaytel didn't need the spectrum at any price.

"We had established a budget that we would have spent to acquire it. There are some advantages to having it but the price just got well beyond what we viewed for our needs as commercially reasonable and so withdrew from the auction," Jamieson said.

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YellowSnow13 says:
So what is the city going to blow that money on this time?
5/7/2014 5:54:27 PM
eventscentre says:
Hopefully my name :)
5/7/2014 7:40:38 PM
ring of fire dude says:
17 million so you can be called white elephant ? For that kind of money you can get polka-dots too !
5/7/2014 10:21:13 PM
educator says:
More fabulous fact checking by tbnewswatch...

"Tbaytel has a different footprint in the region with its own 800 MHz and 2500MHz spectrum..."

Hmmm... how did tbaytel get 2500Mhz spectrum when the auction isn't scheduled to begin until April 14, 2015?

Tbaytel's network runs primarily on 800Mhz (also know as 850MHz) with some in-fill on 1900Mhz.
5/7/2014 2:53:25 PM
The Cougar says:
This guy actually makes a pretty important point for some of the frequent TBNewswatch commentors.

"..debt is part of any business, especially in telecommunications."

As long as they are properly leveraged, debt can be a huge asset to a company's operations. Just because you see the word debt doesnt mean you should automatically complain about your tax dollars going to waste.
5/7/2014 1:57:55 PM
Ed itw says:
Great to hear.
They have done a terrific job of covering what amounts to almost 1/3 of the Canadian Cellular foot print.

On another note I hope you Shaw fans noted the outages last week across the region.
5/7/2014 1:21:09 PM
codvx87 says:
My DSL landline internet intermittently goes slow as hell. How about fixing that.
5/7/2014 12:36:49 PM
chezhank says:
Congratulations to the new chair.
Whadda ya mean the dividend this year is at least $17 million, the city budget has been set for $17 even if you have to borrow $10 million to reach that target.
Hopefully his optimism for an increase in the dividend to the city will not come as a result of an increase in rates for customers.
It would be nice to know what the net revenue for TBAYTEL was last year after they increased rates.
Tbnewswatch only gave us half the story last day telling us revenues were $169.5 in 2013.

henry wojak
mayor in waiting
5/7/2014 12:32:19 PM
fastball says:
Henry - after your creative numerical interpretation of the 2013 Citizens' Survey - anything you have to say now is subject to much debate, if not scorn.
5/7/2014 2:43:52 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
@ Chezhank. Dividends are paid out based on income statement performance, not the balance sheet. Borrowed money goes straight to the balance sheet and never makes it's way onto an income statement. The $10M borrowed dollars has nothing to do with the dividend payment.

You're very inolved in a lot of issues, which I appreciate, but your interpretation of a lot of those scares me.
5/7/2014 3:23:46 PM
tbay87 says:
It's basically like having a mortgage and a savings account at the same time: sure you could not save a cent until your mortgage is paid, but does that really make sense? Perhaps Tbaytel could have skipped the dividend and used it instead of taking on debt, but most companies strive for a predictable dividend. It's not like debt is paying for the dividend.
5/7/2014 10:58:38 PM
smartguy83 says:
Net revenue is not the correct term. That being said, if you do not know the terminology I trust the fact that information has not been provided to you a blessing as you would likely have no clue what to get from it.
5/7/2014 3:29:23 PM
eventscentre says:
But I thought all the armchair corporate experts, the ones with Masters in commerce, said that tbaytel would go chests up by next year...hmmmm methinks they may have erred...
5/7/2014 12:15:33 PM
truthteller99 says:
Spin spin spin, why did they even place a bid if it wasn't "needed"? Lte?? Bell has had Lte in tbay since Oct 2012! The dividend has already been above the 17 million mark many times why do we need the new chair to say that it could go higher? It already was, has now dropped and now is taking on 10 million in debt! Sell this thing while there is still value! Cmon good Ole boy network in tbay! We challenge you to do something for us going forward rather than lining your own pockets!
5/7/2014 12:02:01 PM
gotcha says:
All you had to do was pay your bill and you would still have the very best phone wifi cellular and TV @ reasonable cost as well as well as putting the equivalent of 17 Grain Elevators worth of Taxes into the city coffers. 10 million is peanuts for the upgrades into fiber optics that Tbaytel is doeing that will make them the leader of the pack.And selling them is just plain stupid but we have a Council who sold The most valuable Park Land a City ever had to developers for a million $$$ a year in revenue and through in a Minimum of $60 mil to help the Developers out. So who knows? By the way I just came back from Toronto where my Inlaws are paying $80.00 / month for telephone land line to Bell and $130.00 / month for internet & basic TV to Rogers who want $500.00 for a PVR so they can record their favorite shows compare this to Tbaytel
5/7/2014 10:53:14 PM
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