Monthly Archives: October 2014

Three Fibernetics’ Services Make Top 10 VoIP Provider List

We’re proud of the Fibernetics network that runs NEWT Business Services, but did you know we have a residential service as well? No? It’s top 5 in Canada:


Three Fibernetics’ Services Make Top 10 Residential VoIP Provider List
Canadians voted on & chose Fibernetics

CAMBRIDGE, ONTARIO–(October 23, 2014)- Fibernetics company purpose is to go “Beyond Telecom” by being the most customer-focused voice and data provider in Canada, and we’ve really outdone ourselves with this announcement. We are proud to announce today that Fongo, and Worldline, residential phone services that run on the Fibernetics network, were voted in the Top 10 Best Residential VoIP service providers in Canada.

This past spring, Canada’s premier VoIP directory, asked Canadians to cast a vote and choose the best residential VoIP provider in the country. Out of the Top 10 chosen, three rely on the Fibernetics network for their service. Here’s what had to say:

  • #2 Fongo has an amazing ability to go viral and cater services to a new generation of phone users.
  • #5 Worldline has started to make sure its name is heard in Canada’s households. For their efforts they’ve been rewarded with a top-5 finish this year.
  • #8 This one caters to cost-conscious users (pre-dates Fongo) that has seen its share of popularity. May be seen as less sophisticated as other providers but Canadians are found to love anything that has the word ‘free’ on it – so there you have it, a net top-10 finish for Freephoneline

Fibernetics President, John Stix said, “We are very proud of the national telecommunications network we’ve built. It supports hundreds of thousands of Canadians for their telephone needs, plus data with our unlimited Internet services. Reliability and overall voice quality are hallmarks of our network, and we are pleased that so many Canadians are benefiting from it, not just from our high quality service, but from the cost savings as well.”

“Three out of the Top 10, and having two in the Top 5 is a significant accomplishment,” said Jody Schnarr, Chairman and Executive Officer. “I want to personally thank our network team for all the hard work they do to ensure that our customers continue to enjoy the finest telecom services in the country. Of course, we’ll never be satisfied until we are No.1 across the board and I’m sure as more Canadians become aware of our services, we’ll hit the top.”

About Fibernetics:
Headquartered in Cambridge, Ontario, Fibernetics goes “Beyond Telecom” by providing superior products and services at the fairest prices to the Canadian marketplace with a singular focus on customer service in everything they do. Fibernetics has its own national infrastructure that delivers a full range of voice and data services for residential customers through Worldline and for business clients with their NEWT Business Phone System and Business Internet. Website: Twitter: @fibernetics

Media Inquires:
John Stix – Fibernetics President

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Startup Community: Why the Kitchener Waterloo Region is Rockin’

One of the great advantages Fibernetics, NEWT’s parent company, has is its location. We are headquartered right in the middle of Canada’s Tech-triangle encompassing Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge.

The energy and excitement that surrounds businesses here is palpable. Our community is crammed with creative people, revolutionizing Canadian business and commerce, and bringing new and exciting products to market seemingly daily. For example, our own in-house incubator, Fibernetics Ventures is a perfect example if what is going on here. New companies are springing up promising to  bring jobs and even more prosperity to the region. Plus, as an added benefit, the level of talent we get to choose from when we’re adding jobs makes us a better company overall.

Some talented area film makers recently released a documentary on the area titled Startup Community. Look for Fibernetics Ventures’ and Plasticity‘s Jim Moss. Hope you enjoy it.


Startup Community is a film about what makes the Kitchener-Waterloo Region different. It was funded on Indiegogo by the community, for the community.

While the story is told by Taylor Jackson Media Inc, Lindsay Coulter, Marshall Angus, Mark Araujo, and Holden Mohring had a huge part in the creation of this.

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Channer’s Magazine: High Fibre – a Fibernetics profile

Ideas Men:

Ideas Men: Jody Schnarr (left) and John Stix dove into the telco market and created Fibernetics, an under-the-radar success story.

A conversation 20 years ago between two friends about the deregulated phone industry led to the setting up for Fibernetics, a forerunner on Canadian telecommunications.

By Tenille Bonogoure – October 2014

It began, as so many plans do, over a few pints of beer. It was 1994, and Jody Schnarr was working as a telemarketer selling cheap phone deals in a newly deregulated market. The work was far from riveting.

Schnarr was with his best friend, John Stix, for their regular Thursday drinks. As the beer flowed, the twentysomethings pondered the puzzle of the phone market. the telecom monopoly had been dismantled, enabling small competitors to take on the giants. Seeing an opportunity, the two friends decided to wade into the waters of the deregulated industry themselves.

As can happen with plans made over brews, things quickly went bust. But Schnarr and Stix had developed a taste for entrepreneurship, gaining some hard-won lessons, and went at it again, pounding the pavement to sign up customers to their second start-up.

This time, it worked, They built the business up, sold it off and enjoyed a brief period of well-funded idleness before the entrepreneurial itch returned. Diving back into the game, they launched Fibernetics from a basement office. Now, 10 years later – and 20 years after those Thursday night pints – Fibernetics employs more than 200 people  in three countries and supports more than 300,000 customers daily.

“We’ve kind of grown under the radar,” Stix says “In the telco world, everyone knows who we are, but outside that, especially in our own community, a lot of people don’t.”

Business has grown so well, in fact, that Fibernetics and its brands, NEWT and Worldline, are facing challenge that stems from success. How do you retain that fiery start-up energy while maturing into a respected mid-sized entity.

All-inclusive: Jody Schnarr at the Fibernetics office whee employees are encouraged to be intrapreneurial and develop their business dreams

All-inclusive: Jody Schnarr at the Fibernetics office where employees are encouraged to be intrapreneurial and develop their business dreams

“The biggest challenge is establishing enough process, so people can do their jobs but not too much that you stifle their entrepreneurial spirit,” explains Stix (between meetings on a busy Friday). “You know you have the right balance when ideas flourish [when] one component is not making the other component suffer.”

It’s a juggling trick, he admits, but one that feels familiar. From the start, the co-founders have brought their own style to the operation. Schnarr, the CEO is the strategic visionary, a razor-sharp mind cloaked in a casual-cool wardrobe of funky designer T-shirts and jeans. Stix, the company’s president, is more L.A. style – he will wear a suit if the situation demands it but prefers a more relaxed daily look. “We’re very different, and we complement each other,” says Stix.

So how does that partnership look in practice? Judging from the video clip the staff made of the Pharell Williams song, “Happy”, it seems pretty well, happy. Costumes are donned. Stix does the “worm.” Schnarr dances somewhat precariously on a desk.

“We have a  culture we’re trying to create here. You don’t see us in an office upstairs,” Stix says. “We have an open door policy. It’s very collaborative in here. It’s very entrepreneurial.” That policy is not a metaphor. In an effort to keep innovation at the heart of what Fibernetics does, Schnarr and Stix have literally opened their doors to other entrepreneurs wanting to build their dream businesses.

Fibernetics ventures brings seedling start-ups in-house where the new entrepreneurs can gain financial, human-resources and business support. If they need experienced advice, Schnarr and Stix are on hand. If the issue is marketing, the Fibernetics team gets cracking.

So far, there are six start-ups involved, most launched by Fibernetics staff themselves. “It’s a win-win,” Stix says. “We want to keep our employees. If they’re feeling intrapreneurial, we want to encourage that. We want to help them develop their ideas.” It’s also a win for the dynamic duo. Schnarr and Stix get a dose of that start-up buzz, without having to quit their day job.

That’s a good thing because they have no plans to slow down any time soon. Despite the laid-back office style, casual jeans and a plan to build a deck behind the company’s lakeside headquarters, Stix and Schnarr have lofty corporate goals.

“If you ask people in the street to name the leading telcom companies, Stix says, “one day Fibernetics will be in there.”

This article was re-published by permission of Channer’s Waterloo.

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The Revolutionary NEWT Business Phone System’s Hybrid Solution


The NEWT Managed PBX

We could have been like the other guys, offering either a hosted or a premise based solution for our business phone system.

However after looking at both long and hard, we discovered something kind of amazing. Both options as a business communication solution were good and bad. Both had advantages over the other, but neither could provide what our research told us today’s businesses required.

And that was a technologically advanced, robust, scalable, non-IT intensive business tool that could be tailored for the Mom and Pop shop all the way to the multi-national enterprise.

That kind of system didn’t exist, so our in-house development team built it. It’s the NEWT Managed PBX and it takes the best of both the hosted and premise based systems to create a hybrid solution.

A Revolutionary Hybrid System

The NEWT business phone system is a revolutionary hybrid approach to business telecommunications as it offers the security of premise based equipment and cloud based mission critical configuration.

Traditional premise based private branch exchanges (PBX) allow for high security and can be customized but often take up a lot of room on site of the customer and can be extremely expensive. These expenses accumulate from a high up-front cost of capital and high reoccurring costs associated with maintenance requirements, expensive upgrades and the necessity of hiring in-house IT experts. In comparison, hosted IP phone systems have all equipment and are managed by vendors in the cloud, allowing for a cluster free work environment for the customer. Hosted systems are a much more cost effective end solution as the voice system is transmitted over the internet (Voice over IP), eliminating costly phone lines and pricey maintenance costs. However, there is reduced control of the system and a higher security risk associated with sharing pools of information over a public network.

The NEWT business phone system combines the security of premise based equipment while providing the benefits of using a cloud system, creating a fully managed, end to end voice solution. The NEWT business phone system offers over 80 amazing features that are distributed over the local PBX system and the redundant core network hosted infrastructure, all running over the federally regulated Fibernetics CLEC network. Each NEWT business phone system connects to the Fibernetics network via a secure Virtual Private Network. The Fibernetics core infrastructure is secure from the public internet, unlike other hosted VoIP phone systems which connect to the public internet when transmitting calls. Therefore with the combination of having the PBX box on site, while being managed in the core network, the NEWT business phone system is a superior hybrid approach to business telecommunications.

The NEWT business phone system provides the answer to concerns about business contingency and disaster prevention within the business environment. Servers within the core Fibernetics network are optimized so that no points of failure occur between the NEWT business phone system, the core network and the Public Switched Telephone Network. In the event of a specific/local issue such as a local network loss, which would completely wipe a traditional PBX offline, the NEWT business phone system features that are hosted in the core infrastructure continue to operate normally. For example, NEWT call intelligence manage call flows so that if the primary network is cut out, the calls will be routed to the customers secondary residential or cellular number, ensuring that the business does not lose any communications within and outside of the company.

For more on what NEWT Business Phone System can do for you and your business, please drop by the NEWT Website or give us a call at 1 (888) 996-6398.

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