OTTAWA — 2021 is Storm Internet Services’ 25th anniversary year, a milestone reached for the local provider during an era when access to broadband has proven more vital than ever. The last 16 months of the pandemic has left little doubt of that, and Storm continues to pursue new and exciting projects to make it a reality for an ever-growing customer base in Ottawa and a broad swath of rural Eastern Ontario.
Opening its doors in June of 1996, Storm was founded by four local businessmen, including Herb Hartwig, who remains with the company today as CTO. Ownership changed in 2003, and Storm was purchased by Charles Walther and Birket Foster. In April 2020, Walther chose to retire, selling his interest to Foster, who became sole shareholder and Storm’s Chairman and CEO (Chief Enablement Officer).
Foster continues to help Storm grow its commercial and residential line of business. The firm now employs 50 people and continues to grow.
Support calls have always been handled by local Storm employees, and not outsourced overseas, the company proudly notes in a press release also highlighting a 99.9% uptime guarantee for its customers. “Braving the scorching hot summers and freezing cold Canadian winters, our technicians (and the rest of the Storm team) are dedicated to providing you with the ultimate customer service.” Storm has deployed “state-of-the-art technology to ensure your connection is never lost and all inquiries are addressed,” it says.
Storm has also made a name for itself in the provision of high-speed Internet at special events and festivals — counting Ottawa’s RBC Bluesfest, Folk Fest, Hope Volleyball, Fringe, the RCGT Park Baseball Stadium (home of the Ottawa Titans) among its customers. And as things open up, the company looks forward to serving its first event in 16 months — the Van Gogh Exhibit at the Aberdeen Pavilion.
Building up its networks in the Ottawa and surrounding area — including municipalities like Westport, Maberly and Merrickville — Storm is currently expanding its fibre network in the Clayton area. That project is due to be completed by November 2021, connecting about 200 homes in the rural village with top-flight fibre Internet.
“From our family to yours, we wish to thank you for your continued support throughout the past 25 years of operation,” the company says. “We’re tremendously proud to continue to provide high-speed internet connections to homes and businesses across Eastern Ontario. Make sure to keep an eye out for what we have in store for the next 25!”
Headquartered in Ottawa, Storm maintains satellite offices in Perth as well as Chesterville, where longtime tech entrepreneur Foster also runs a data-migration company.