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Xplornet | September 3, 2017

The people of British Columbia have been dealing with the devastation of the wildfires since early July, when more than 200 fires began over a short two day period. Since then, families have been displaced and homes have been lost. Many communities are doing whatever they can to help those who have lost everything to the fires. As soon as the fires started, Xplornet reached out to the Canadian Red Cross to set-up an employee donation matching program. We also began an outreach program where customers in the fire zones were contacted and offered assistance – whether it was credits for service, or waiving any fees or charges in the case of a total loss of house and equipment.

More than anything, the outreach program helped us understand the situation our customers and the people of B.C. are facing. We received some great feedback about our outreach, and of course, we also heard some tragic stories:

“Thank you so much for your concern. We were in dire straits for information when we were downgraded to telephone speed. A quick phone call to your office got us back on line at higher speed and we could stay connected. The fire is moving fast towards us and we were ordered out at 9:00 pm last night. There is no cell device available here and our phone was going off and on, so we sure appreciate you reacting so quickly to get us back on. We have returned to feed some animals but have to leave for the night again. Once again thank you so much.”

“Thank you for your thoughts, concerns and assistance in our time of need. I, and I’m sure many others, are grateful.”

“Thank you so much for your words of support. It is a devastating circumstance to say the least. Your acknowledgement is appreciated.”

In addition to waiving service fees and any cancellation or hardware replacement fees, Xplornet’s own employees are getting involved and helping out. In partnership with the Red Cross, our employees have been very generous with their donations. In total, Xplornet employees donated almost $6,000, and the company will be matching every dollar donated by the team. This will go directly to Red Cross to ensure immediate relief to families who have been displaced, providing items such as cots, blankets, family reunification and financial assistance for food, clothing and other personal needs. If you’d like to donate as well, the Red Cross donation page is here.

Many Xplornet dealers and installers in B.C. are also affected by the fires. A number of dealers and installers have put themselves at risk by heading into fire zones to set up Xplornet Internet services for emergency communications – in some cases, this is the only line of communication for entire communities, fire command centers and evacuation centers.

One of our dealers in Alberta told us this story about his experiences: “We are on evacuation order here, but not about to leave our home at this point. The fire to the West is about 9 KM away, burning through logged out areas and grassland. The fire to the North East is around 28 KM away and thankfully, it has slowed down. One of our customers has two of the helicopters working in the area. We did two moves for them in the fire zone – at the roadblocks, all I did was tell them I was going in to set up Xplornet Internet service and no other questions were asked. We have so, so many customers who have lost everything that having Internet service for communicating is critical.”

Some of our local dealers have expanded their warehouse space for other dealers on evacuation orders. B.C. dealer Can Com were evacuated from their store as fires came close to Williams Lake. The dealer had no access to their shop and equipment. Thankfully, with the help of another local dealer, Can Com was able to set up shop 200 KM away in Prince George. Xplornet also quickly delivered equipment to Can Com’s temporary location to support their continued efforts to reconnect our customers and their communities with emergency repairs and installations.

Xplornet continues to do everything we can to help communities and customers in need of support. As displaced British Columbians start to return to their homes, Xplornet will be there to reconnect customers and ensure that they’re able to communicate with their family and friends.