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In September 2022 Xplornet became Xplore. Read more here.

Andrew Wychnenka has been working as Swift’s Communications Manager for only a year but in a way, he’s been connected to the company for some time, the way most people are connected in small town Manitoba.

“I told Evan I was looking for a job and he said I have a job for you.”

It was as easy as that.

If you remember from our first blog about Swift, Evan Schroeder was one of the masterminds behind this thriving rural Manitoba business, Swift High Speed. To refresh your memory, Swift High Speed was delivering fibre and fixed wireless high-speed Internet to their community when they were acquired by Xplore. Xplore now manages the Swift High Speed network and supports its customer base.

Now, Evan and his team operate Swift Underground, a fibre construction company and Authorized Xplore Dealer.

Andrew and Evan ran in overlapping social circles growing up, but they only officially met 5 years ago.

There’s a game they play in Kleefeld, and the surrounding rural areas, called the “Menno game.”

“If you talk to anyone for 5 minutes you're going to get into a conversation about where you’re from, who you’re related to, and eventually how you’re related to them. My wife is Mennonite and her mother is cousins with Evan’s dad. So, that’s our Menno game story. We are kind of related through marriage,” he said.

Andrew actually met Evan’s dad, the local fire chief, before he ever met Evan. One of the first times Andrew remembers meeting Evan, he had asked Evan’s dad to help him butcher some game on his property.

“Evan’s dad had a lot of experience. We had just started the process of butchering and all of a sudden, his beeper goes off and he has to leave to respond to a fire call. We had no idea what we were doing. We were working at it for an hour when Evan showed up and said, “My dad said you might need some help” ... and that was one of the first times I met Evan,” Andrew explained.

He said this story captures Evan’s character.

“He swooped in and saved the day. Evan looks for opportunities to help people in the community whether they are family or not,” he said.

Andrew’s background is in conflict management and mediation.

“I would talk to the different parties, understand the situation and help them come up with a resolution to resolve that conflict. I also did a lot of preventative work where I would develop training and workshops for staff to learn how to communicate well, especially in times of conflict,” he explained.

Evan knew that the Xplore acquisition of Swift High Speed and then the transition to Swift Underground would involve a lot of conversation with the community. He felt that Andrew might have a special skillset for that.

“It has been a fantastic fit,” Andrew said.

Swift High Speed’s mission was to provide high-speed Internet to underserved Manitobans. Now that their network has been acquired by Xplore, their role has shifted, but the mission is the same.

“We might not be providing Internet now but the goal is still the same: make sure people have the opportunity for a high-speed Internet connection,” Andrew said.

When asked, who is Swift Underground, Andrew said they are a local fibre construction company, composed of people from the community.

“In all of the communities where we are building fibre optic Internet, there is someone who lives in each community that works at Swift Underground. We are a very community-minded organization working to bring Internet to as many homes as we can in this area,” he said.

As a dealer for Xplore, Swift has the best of both worlds in that Swift staff are from the community, they know the community and have provided Internet for so long that they can now be the community’s connection point with Xplore.

"We have the initial conversation with the customer, figure out how to get them connected and they can rest assured knowing that they are speaking to someone from the community, who knows their area and is equipped to get them connected. Our customers know they are talking to someone who could be a neighbour or a family member, playing the Menno game. And, they are getting great service from a national company with lots of resources. I think it’s a really great blend,” Andrew said.

Andrew and the team feel that selling to Xplore was the best way to continue getting their community connected.

"We didn’t have the capital to bring fibre to all the communities here on our own. With Xplore we knew we’d be able to accomplish that goal. We are really excited about that because we are now able to bring fibre to communities here in southeastern Manitoba which we’ve been providing wireless Internet to for over a decade now,” Andrew said.

Andrew also sees integrity in the decision Xplore made to continue working with Swift Underground to construct the local fibre network.

“People should choose Xplore because Xplore has chosen to invest into the community by partnering with Swift to complete their construction. Xplore could contract any large national construction company but instead they partnered with a local company, who employs hundreds of members of the community to bring reliable Internet to the community. I think that’s huge,” he said.

Check out Swift Underground’s website for information about 100% pure Fibre Internet in your neighbourhood. www.swiftunderground.com/signup