Wipstream backup internet services available across Saskatchewan – Extremalby
Share via email

Wipstream backup internet services available across Saskatchewan

‘The small business market doesn’t get taken care of very well — in particular, small businesses in small towns. The gas station or the restaurant in Debden or in Shaunavon — who’s doing anything for them? Well, we are.’

Article content

Businesses and non-profit organizations regularly open and move in Saskatoon. Today, the StarPhoenix talks to Joe Donlevy who, together with Doug Konkin, opened Wipstream at Innovation Place in July to provide internet enhancements and solutions, primarily for people in rural areas where connection and reliability problems are more frequent. They provide services across Saskatchewan and are making roads in Alberta and Manitoba. They eventually plan to take Wipstream across Canada, and then throughout North America.

advertisement 2

Article content

Q: What internet service do you provide?

A: We operate in rural and outside of major city environments where people have internet problems — they don’t have much bandwidth and the connections that are out there just aren’t enough to meet today’s needs. They’re waiting for fiber or they’re waiting for something else. They’re going to get it some day, but it just takes a long time to get all that stuff out there. So what we did is we developed — I guess you could call it an internet appliance — that significantly improves the internet experience on existing legacy systems. We call it Wipstream and we have a home-business package and then one specifically for businesses. The home-business one is interesting because it takes whatever you have connected to it, whether it’s Xplorenet or satellite or SaskTel or whatever, and it uses all of that, but when you need more, it will add a boost to it. It will increase your data bandwidth until such time as you don’t need extra bandwidth, and then it will just let you run on your existing connection. It’ll bring additional bandwidth to your connection on the net.

So for example, when you’re online and maybe having a Zoom call with somebody but somebody else in your house jumps online and wants to watch a movie, maybe that’s too much for whatever your connection is. We’ll start to add bandwidth to make sure everybody gets the services they want.

Q: Do you provide services in larger cities as well?

A: We are actually available in cities and have several installations in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert and on, because sometimes your internet gets flaky. So (our product) steps up and adds the bandwidth or it comes over completely to us if your internet connection goes out. That’s a particular interest in the Sentinel product we have for small business. For example, have you ever been in a restaurant where they say the internet is out, do you have any cash? So that won’t happen if you have Sentinel.

advertisement 3

Article content

Q: Is there anything else like Wipstream out there?

A: There are some very large industrial systems because bigger businesses will have their alternate bandwidth connections and the like but there’s nothing else like what we do.

Q: How did you develop this application?

A: I had been working in a different organization with school boards and the like and trying to work with kids in terms of engaging them in education. And during the pandemic I was asked by the schools that I was working with to come up with a way to connect kids to remote learning, particularly the ones that don’t have any access to anything. Schools have to make sure everybody can connect. And so we did over 3,000 households during the pandemic, 54 school divisions in Saskatchewan and Alberta. We were able to get the kids connected and get them to school and we learned a lot of stuff from that. And then from that knowledge, we came up with this. Wipstream is obviously a different application because it’s for people that have something, but we’re (taking) everything we learned in that world, and turning it into this.

Q: What service packages do you offer?

A: Mobile, Home & Sentinel

Wipstream Mobile is for people who don’t have anything or they just want to put it in their camper when they’re driving around the country or something like that. That’s essentially a mobile device for $30 per month.

Wipstream Home is quite new. That costs $35 a month. And by and large that’s going to be all that it will ever cost you.

advertisement 4

Article content

Wipstream Sentinel goes out there like a home office. For most businesses it’s between $40 to $50 a month. The small business market doesn’t get taken care of very well — in particular, small businesses in small towns. The gas station or the restaurant in Debden or in Shaunavon — who’s doing anything for them? Well, we are. We would say that that’s our core market — places where people can’t get anything else.

Q: What do you love most about running Wipstream?

A: I think Wipstream is a real problem solver and (I have) a real desire for people to have productivity. If grandma’s out at the farm and can’t Zoom with the grandkids, but they have Wipstream, they can. If you are a small business and you lose your connection, it’s a problem. Wipstream is not just nice to have, it’s not just faster than next door. Basically, these businesses have to have it.

Case in point, I’ve got a business out in a small town outside of Saskatoon. They were having a real problem with their internet. And it’s just that it’s an old connection. Now they switch to our device maybe four times a day, and suddenly they don’t lose their connection and they can be proud of their business.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

wip stream

owners: Joe Donlevy, Doug Konkin, Weigers Financial and Benefits
Address: 107 — 116 Research Drive (Concourse Building at Innovation Place)
Telephone: 306.291.3092
E-mail: [email protected]
website: wipstream.io
Check: Facebook, LinkedIn

advertisement 5

Article content

Have you recently started or moved a new business or non-profit organization in Saskatoon? We want to hear your story. Please email [email protected]

The news seems to be flying at us faster all the time. From COVID-19 updates to politics and crime and everything in between, it can be hard to keep up. With that in mind, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix has created an Afternoon Headlines newsletter that can be delivered daily to your inbox to help make sure you are up to date with the most vital news of the day. Click here to subscribe.

advertisement 1


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user follows comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.