CommTech Show and Seminars Unveil Inaugural Gala Award Winners

CommTech Show and Seminars Unveil Inaugural Gala Award Winners

The Canadian CommTech Show and Seminars is pleased to announce the winners of the first ever CommTech Information Communications Technology (ICT) Awards Gala.

The sold-out Gala, which took place April 16, 2018 on the eve of CommTech East Show and Seminars at the Mississauga Convention Centre, honoured the following winners:

Canadian Individual Excellence and Innovation in ICT award:

Serge Rochette, Sr VP of Technical Operations, Rogers Communications

Canadian Organization Excellence and Innovation in ICT award:

T2 Utility Engineers

Canadian Volunteer of the Year award:

Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE), Ontario Chapter,

Board of Directors and Associates

The Ontario Board was selected for their countless hours providing unique training opportunities,

and specialty events throughout the year. They are a collection of hard-working individuals,

giving their time and knowledge to the cable and engineering sectors with

a passion that is outstanding and much admired in Ontario.

Honourable Mention:

Adtran Canada

For its investments in the Canadian market that have allowed smaller Canadian operators to compete against local incumbents in underserved areas. On behalf of Adtran Canada,

CommTech donated $500 to the Humboldt Strong Community Foundation.

“I was delighted by the quality of the nominations that we received this year, and hope to be able to expand our categories next year”, said Canadian CommTech Show & Seminars president and CEO Linda Guzman.

“These awards give back to an industry that has helped to make CommTech so successful.”

…by Leslie Hunter

Pictured in Photo (L to R): Imran Hassan – TSOC, Ophir Wainer – T2 Utility Engineers, Firoozeh Khalily (on behalf of Serge Rochette) – ROGERS Communications, Mike Coldrey – Adtran, Andrew Laframboise – SCTE Ontario Chapter, Linda Guzman – Canadian Commtech Show & Seminars

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Telecommunications’ “bright future” will still need that human element, says Telonix

Telecommunications’ “bright future” will still need that human element, says Telonix

By Lesley Hunter

With close to five decades in the broadband industry in Canada, Telonix president Eric Goulden has seen technology come and go.  And as the industry continues to evolve, the pace of that change shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.

“There’s never been a time in this industry when changes have happened this quickly”, said Goulden, (pictured on left), who has been with the technology supply company since its inception in 1993.   “The need for data is increasing all the time, and the need for new technology is definitely part of that change.  Fibre optics, for example, as well other new technology, is all absolutely required now in order to accommodate what the future looks like.”

Headquartered in Aurora, ON, Telonix provides fibre optic and broadband equipment and solutions to the telecom industry from various manufacturers, all backed by technical support, on-site training and service.

Goulden said that a product’s useful lifespan used to be approximately 10 years during the formative days of telecom, but today it may only be 2-3 years due to advances in technology standards.  But new product offerings are only half of the equation, he continued.  Customers still need to see and understand how they can apply this technology to benefit their specific projects, and that’s where the Canadian CommTech Show and Seminars come in.

“This show covers all of the bases, from the inside plant and planning to design”, he added.  “It is still the only show in Canada that does all that.  The seminars are very valuable – if you were you to buy a day at a seminar with the quality of people that this show gets, it would cost $1000 per day, but it is offered free as part of CommTech.  It’s very valuable for us to see many, many customers all under one roof without us having to travel.”

Goulden said that his company helped to pave the way for the arrival of first CommTech show in Kelowna, BC, in 2006 which grew from an event that Telonix hosted with Telus.

He joked about wishing to be a decade or two younger to see where the future of telecommunications will head next.

“All I see is opportunity and a bright future for the way that telecommunications is going right now”, he said.  “When the next generation starts to combine their computer skills and their knowledge with a data path that basically connects the world, I think great things are going to happen in areas like medical research, on all sides, really.  They’re going to have an infrastructure in place that will allow everybody to participate.  Before it used to just be the big corporations, but not now.  I think that you’re going to see major advances in all directions just because of the ability of people to connect.  And that’s really what you’re talking about, a data stream that allows people to connect.”

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EXFO’s new power meter helps techs ace PON test challenges

EXFO’s new power meter helps techs ace PON test challenges

By Lesley Hunter

EXFO Inc. is making passive optical network (PON) testing simpler and quicker with a new power meter that can detect both next-generation and legacy PON technologies, a first in the telecom industry.

The Quebec City-based network test and monitoring technology maker said that its device, known as the PPM-350D PON Power Meter, automatically identifies and adapts test parameters for the PON technology in use at the customer’s premises.  This eliminates costly guesswork by field technicians during the critical service activation phase.

EXFO says that the device helps to connect the right upstream and downstream speeds to the right customers by enabling communication service providers (CSPs) to overlay multiple new wavelengths on existing fibres.

“We developed the PON-aware power meter to tackle two key challenges for CSPs dealing with multiple legacy and next-gen technologies,” said Stéphane Chabot, EXFO’s vice-president of test and measurement. “First, field technicians can’t fix problems that older power meters can’t see. Second, it can be difficult to select the right test parameters for the technology, which increases the risk of meaningless test results and false positives. By using automation to solve both problems, the PPM-350D helps CSPs avoid the high costs of sending tech teams back to fix problems for frustrated new customers.”

The PPM-350D is compatible with GPON, EPON, 10G-capable and NG-PON2 networks as well as radio frequency over glass (RFoG).  Its standard Bluetooth connectivity allows users to store results, create test reports and share results using their smart device.

In addition, the PPM-350D offers an optional visual fault locator (VFL) to identify breaks, bends, faulty connectors or splices and other causes of signal loss, helping to shorten time-to-restoration cycles and increase the productivity of field crews.

Founded in 1985, EXFO has approximately 1,600 employees in 25 countries. More than 2,000 customers use EXFO’s test instruments and realtime 3D analytics solutions, including 90% of the largest communications service providers, most network equipment manufacturers and many webscale companies.

For more information, visit

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Power & Tel: More than a supply chain partner

By Lesley Hunter

How does a 54 year old company keep pace with the changing demands – including new products and services – in the ever evolving communications industry?  Through the benefits borne of family ownership, timeless business practices like reliability, and enduring relationships built on trust, according to Aaron Rush, Power & Tel’s regional sales manager for Canada.

Founded in 1963 and headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, Power & Tel is a wholesale distributor to the communications industry with inventories ranging from cable and IPTV networks to tools and testing to fibre-to-the-home builds.

The company expanded in to Canada in 1995 after acquiring General Cable’s distribution business in order to establish itself as a full line communications industry distributor north of the border, in keeping with its business model in the U.S.  In 2004, after buying Markham, Ontario-based CableTel Communications, Power & Tel Canada expanded into cable television distribution.  Both divisions currently reside together at the company’s Canadian corporate office located in Burlington, ON.

Power & Tel has since evolved beyond distribution to include supply chain management and logistics services through a program known as Power & Tel Managed Inventory (or PTMI), said Rush, who joined the company in 2013 and oversees its outside sale team.  Through warehouses in Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia that stock hundreds of communications products from multiple suppliers, Rush says that Power & Tel prides itself on providing “the right product, at the right time, for the right price” within two days to any location in Canada.

“It’s really about our large purchasing volume with our vendors”, he said.  “Some of the smaller operators take full advantage of that costing, once we’ve made some commitments back and forth, and that includes for things like IP set top boxes, and all of the parts and pieces that drive a fibre build from a central office right in to the customer’s home, including the gateways, the modems, the wireless components and all of the required fibre and cable products.  We truly offer end to end solutions.”

Rush cited the company’s decade-long partnership with Halifax-based telecommunications company Eastlink as an ideal example of its PTMI offering.  “We’re their total logistical and warehouse provider, they don’t even have a warehouse because we are their warehouse”, he explained.  “We have access to and manage everything that they’re buying, and whether that’s from us or a competitor, we still manage the levels of inventory, making sure it’s in on time, managing the transportation, really all logistical functions.  This service is what I would describe as a true partnership of trust.”

PTMI is a key area of growth for Power & Tel, Rush added, and it is taking off amongst Canadian and U.S. service providers requiring large logistical services.

“A lot of our warehouses go out at over 99.5% on a monthly basis – that’s the targets we hit on a regular basis”, he continued.  “We can offer various levels of inventory management. If you’re a smaller person that just wants me to stock it for you, fine.  If you’d like me to provide some services around that, I can do that, too.  For example, we could cut the fibre and ship it to you in lengths. We can bundle various products together and ship everything needed for one site to the contractor. So it really comes down to ‘what do you really need us to do for you’?”

Power & Tel has also expanded into data centre design and products, driven in part by the growth in Internet of Things (IoT), machine-to-machine (M2M) communication and the increasing use of the cloud.  Rush said that Canadian companies stand to benefit from the company’s data centre experiences in the U.S.

“In the U.S. we’ve dealt with the rural companies, the Tier 2s and the Tier3s, and we’ve done a very good job there. There’s the large data centre builders, the Googles and the Amazons of the world, and sure we’d love to do business with them, but 35% of the money being spent is in the rural data centres, the Tier 2 data centres, as they start to build ‘out to the edge’. Our play really is in a lot of that space, and we’re hiring good people with that knowledge base and are now building that piece of the business.  That is not something that people may think of when they think of Power & Tel.  We’ve been pushing that hard for about the last year or so and I see a lot of opportunities for our customer base.”

Power & Tel’s foray into wireless design and products is another new area of growth that is beginning to take shape.

“People tend to know us a wireline provider, so it’s been hard to become known as a wireless supplier, even four years in to it”, Rush added.  “You’ve got to get out there and do your marketing.  Our wireless solutions are part of what we’ve been displaying at the SCTE, CommTech East and West, and other shows like the CCSA’s annual general meeting.”

Power & Tel is a long-standing sponsor of both CommTech shows.

For more information, please visit

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