Independent telecom firm Moby making a splash in a sea of industry giants
David Parker • Calgary Herald • Publishing date: Aug 17, 2022
An injury caused technician Nick Brewer to be assigned to a desk a job with his employer Shaw. Too much of a free spirit, Brewer left the company he had worked with for 10 years and considered whether he should own a food truck or stay in the telecommunications world that he enjoyed so much.
His experience suggested people did not have much choice when it came to internet and television service providers. He wondered if it was possible to create a local, independent company that provided not only a superior fibre-optic network, but also one that provided on-the-spot customer service.
Only eight years later, Brewer, CEO and co-owner Boaz Shilmover and vice-president of business development Stewart Cummings, a friend of Shilmover since childhood, have done just that. Moby is an independent telecom company that is growing with both residential and business customers.
Shilmover joined Moby in 2019 after a friend mentioned Brewer’s intentions. He admits that at the time he didn’t fully understanding the technology pitch and how Brewer was going to make money.
On a skiing trip in 2018, the same friend asked Shilmover: “Do you remember the cable company guy we talked about?” This time, his interest was peaked enough to follow up.
A graduate of Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario, Shilmover had worked with an oil and gas company and in the construction industry.
But after a face-to-face breakfast meeting with Brewer at Nellie’s in Oakridge, he quickly saw the need and potential for growth of Moby — a name chosen by Brewer’s young son — and immersed himself in the company’s quest to provide customer-happy internet, TV and VoIP phone service, and business and enterprise level telecommunications in which customers can talk with a local person over the phone. It also means that technicians can respond and be on site the same day to fix any problems.
Another big plus is that Moby has been able to lay its own extensive fibre-optic network throughout downtown Calgary. Unlike other independent ISPs that resell services of incumbent players, Moby builds and manages its own fibre end-to-end to deliver a unique independent offering.
The company data centre is housed in a tower in downtown Calgary on 7th Avenue S.W., staffed by a team that is 100 per cent local and 100 per cent available when needed, 24/7.
Today, Moby serves residential apartments, condos and businesses in commercial buildings in the core.
Shilmover says residential customers are not burdened with contracts. “We want people to stay because they want to, not because they have to.” Moby has also created special pricing for subsidized housing and residents in seniors’ homes.
Seniors’ residences are a target market and Shilmover says his technicians have facilities within their own portfolio, which makes for good relationships. He says the Moby technician who serves the Brenda Strafford Foundation is affectionately known as “Phil the cable guy” by residents.
Businesses, he says, enjoy the fastest security-with-speed internet in Alberta, and the greatest bandwidth.
A new marketing campaign is underway, created by agency of record Tag Advertising, that has launched with an LRT wraparound, plus transit posters and digital marketing.
Moby is working closely with municipalities and local businesses to find opportunities to build community and re-envision what a telecommunications company can make possible.
There are plenty more fish in the sea, but Moby believes it’s the biggest catch.