Approve BlueFox Communications fibre expansion loan
Approve BlueFox Communications fibre expansion loan
Why this petition matters
Hi, my name is Lance, and I own and Operate BlueFox Communications, an internet service provider focused on providing rural residents with affordable internet connectivity.
A little background on my business:
I started my business in October 2020 and struggled for over five months to obtain internet services that I was allowed to resell as an internet provider. I was a stranger in many communities, just someone who said he could hook up the internet faster than people were used to experiencing with existing options. I attended depositions with many municipalities (Conmee, O'Connor, Oliver Paipoonge, Gillies), informing them of my intentions and how supporting letters would assist me with obtaining initial funding. Again I was a stranger, not some massive corporation monopolizing the market, but a few municipalities provided fantastic letters saying my business would benefit their communities.
Getting things rolling:
I meticulously analyzed survey data, competitor billing rates and speeds, estimated demands, and existing infrastructure, reaching out to landowners and businesses where expanding services would assist with customer intake and sales. I was able to work out a few key locations that could reach a few areas, but not as far as I would like; I was somewhat new to deploying wireless infrastructure in such densely forested regions and challenging landscapes. I estimated that within 2 years, I would have to run fibre to mitigate our region's various natural challenges. I continued to sign customers up, often taking on additional tasks to generate extra income for the business to grow more rapidly. Unfortunately, I reached a threshold for network usage I had set not to surpass, as it would start to impact customer connections and network reliability. During signing customers up and trying to grow my business, the government announced funding to connect rural homes! I had created plans for a municipality to upgrade to fibre, which would have rocketed my business and profit and allowed me to expand much more rapidly to other communities! Unfortunately, even though my plans were a lower cost than other approved projects by larger corporations, my proposal was not approved. I also identified two other opportunities from the government that would have been fantastic. Still, I was excluded from those, as I was a new business not making millions of dollars. So I spoke to a few financial institutions, and they all turned me down. I spoke to the initial financial institution that told me they look at my plans, estimations, and all the hard work I put into analyzing and assessing every aspect, scenario, and outcome instead of just my recovering credit rating. The gentleman told me they are not a revolving credit lender, but I could try and apply for an expansion loan! A small but significant glimmer of hope in this fibre expansion endeavor I have been trying to tackle. I proceeded to build an expansion business plan, financial reporting and projections, all of the information and documentation I could use and try to ensure I would have a solid chance at obtaining funding. I sourced equipment costs, contractor costs, and training and spoke to multiple large internet carriers for fibre anywhere outside of town for over nine months! I found a spot that would work, close to a few key network locations that would allow me to potentially terminate my connection in Thunder Bay, for a much more reliable fibre connection closer to my customers. I could offer faster internet speeds on my existing network and additional services aside from the internet, plus start to deploy fibre! This brings me to:
I submitted my application to the financial institution on May 19th, 2022. I am waiting to hear back on either the 18th or the 25th of July 2022. I reached out to my financial officer for the institution inquiring if anything else would increase my approval odds; besides having more personal money to put down for the loan, I was told letters of support would also help. So with that in mind, I have put out an active request on my Facebook page for letters of support to better my odds. I have a few letters of support from businesses and residents; some are existing customers, and others hope to be, but more would show the support of the rural community members and businesses for what I am trying to accomplish. I have decided to start a gofundme fundraiser to secure additional funding before the potential board meeting on the 18th to review my application.
Where would the fibre be?
If I am able to secure an expansion loan, the primary connection is estimated to take two months to be built by a large internet provider to a location on Boundary Dr. (Neebing) During that construction; I would be upgrading my wireless network for redundancy and deploying fibre in preparation for when the primary connection is completed. Depending on how my existing fundraiser performs, additional locations in various municipalities would be presented to the administration/council members for hybrid wireless/fibre installations. The potential for additional locations for expansion would rapidly increase my sales and allow me to invest more money in expansion projects. Creating seasonal and part/full-time employment opportunities, as well as hopefully being able to offer a hands-on resource for youth who express interest in networking technology, Net-Zero infrastructure, information infrastructure deployment and design, etc.
What if the loan is not approved?
If I am unable to obtain approval for my fibre expansion loan, my network will still function, but it would be significantly more difficult and time consuming to try an expand and upgrade the network, almost impossible.
If you feel that I have worked hard enough for your support, all I ask is that you simply fill out this petition so that I may submit it to my loan officer showing support from the community and businesses surrounding Thunder Bay.
- Board Of DirectorsThunder Bay Ventures