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Westman Communications Group

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History of Westman

Since Westman Communications Group began life as Westman Media Co-operative in 1977, we've been dedicated to making a difference in the lives of our members.

Today, we're continuously connecting communities with vital communications services and we've evolved into a leading-edge telecommunications company proudly connecting Manitobans to Internet, TV, and Phone services.


The significant events in our history

For over 45 years, Westman Communications Group has evolved to embrace and deliver new technologies, and services. Here's an overview of our history, including company milestones and accomplishments.

1978

  • Our first television broadcast was sent down the cable to 3,951 homes in Brandon and 143 in Carberry on September 19th, 1978.
 

1997

  • Launch of Westman Cable TV services in Dauphin
 

1999

  • Westman was the first to launch a new Digital technology called HITS (Head End-In-The-Sky), which enabled Brandon to have Digital Television before it was available in Toronto.
  • Launch of DigitalChoice TV services to Brandon.
 

2000

  • Launched DigitalChoice TV services in Dauphin
  • Launch of ManitobaNet.com
  • CCSA awards Westman with the “Cable Operator of the Year” Award
  • Launched WAVE High-Speed Internet in Souris
 

2001

  • Launch of High School Scholarship program beginning in June 2001
  • WCGtv announces its new mobile television production unit
 

2002

  • Launch of new DIGITAL TV services in Boissevain, Deloraine, Killarney, Melia, Rivers, Roblin, Souris, Ste rose, Swan river, Virden, elkhorn, Erickson, Gibert plains, Gladstone, Glenboro, Grandview McCreary, Russell, and Roblin.
  • Launch of EasyNet Service – One big step up from dial-up!
 

2003

  • Westman Communications Group purchased Riding Mountain Broadcasting Ltd. With the purchase, Westman now owned and operates two Brandon-based radio stations, CKLF 94.7 ("94.7 Star FM"), and CKLQ 880 ("Q Country").
  • Westman increased the speeds of its WAVE service by 33% to 2Mbps
 

2004

  • Westman announced that it is one of the first cable companies in North America to offer all of its television services in a fully digital format. This enhanced service was available in Brandon, Minnedosa, Neepawa, and Carberry.
  • WAVE service increased speeds to over 3Mbps
 

2005

  • Westman Acquired Shilo Cablevision, operating out of Shilo, Manitoba.
  • Westman adds 10 more major digital channels to its servce lineu-up
  • Launch of High-Speed Internet in Virden, Killarney and Boissevain.
  • General Manager, Don Kille, of CKLQ and STAR FM was awarded Broadcaster of the Year by Westmern Association of Broadcaster (WAB).
 

2007

  • WCG purchased the naming rights to the Keystone Centre's main arena (Westman Place) and the associated viewing lounge(s) (880 CKLQ Hall & 94.7 Star FM Viewing Lounge). It was a ten-year deal that ended in 2018.
  • Video On Demand (VOD) is now available to customers in Brandon.
  • Addition of 33 new specialty changes available in Carberry, Minnedosa, Neepawa and Shilo.
  • Launched High-Speed Internet services in Dauphin.
 

2008

  • WCG was certified as a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) and introduced its Home Phone service to Brandon. This service was available soon after in Shilo, Carberry, Minnedosa, Neepawa and Dauphin. This service is continuing to expand to some of our other locations.
 

2009 

  • Now providing Business Phone services to Westman communities
  • Westman now offers a Whole-Home Video on Demand (VOD) service. Enabling users to start watching in one room, and finish watching it in another.
 

2010

  • Westman brings Fibre to the Home (FTTH) to Brandon
  • Increased WAVE download speeds to 9Mbps and UltraNet to 12Mbps
  • Received the “Outstanding Medium Business Award” from the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce
  • Digital Video Recorders (DVR) Expanders are now available. This allows a subscriber to expand their storage by 10x.
 

2012

  • Launched Westman PRISM
  • Launch of Westman Home Wi-Fi
 

2013

  • Named top 25 Employer in Manitoba
  • Upgraded WAVE to 12 Mbps and UltraNet to 22Mbps
  • Fibre-Connected the community of Rivers, Killarney, and Souris.
 

2014

  • Selected as one of the Top 25 Employers in Manitoba.
  • Won the National Sports Programming award for WCGtv by the Canadian Cable Systems Alliance (CCSA). Westman was awarded $1000 to a local charity of their choice, which we chose to donate to the Brandon Humane Society
  • Fibre-connected the 4 communities of Virden, Ste Rose, and Killarney.
 

2015

  • Fibre-Connected the community of Swan River, and Ste Rose
  • WCGtv is now in High Definition.
 

2016 

  • Launched GO APPs to all linked communities
  • Selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Small and Medium Employers.
  • Launched Lite Choice Package option.
  • Connected the communities of Erickson, Glenboro, and Minitonas
  • Launched WCGtv south and north
 

2017

  • Increased residential Internet Speeds by 20% in October 2017
  • CKLQ Expanded to FM
  • Launched Gigabit Internet
  • Connected the communities of Forrest, Binscarth, Rossburn, Strathclair, Birtle, Roblin, Russell, Hamiota, Shoal lake, Melita, Deloraine, and Glenboro with High-Speed Internet.
  • Rebranded 880AM CKLQ to Q Country
  • Launched the TiVo Experience with Netflix and VOD 
  • MyPhone Computer & Electronics (MyPhone) has announced that Western Manitoba residents will be able to purchase Westman enhanced Digital TV and high-speed Internet services at all MyPhone TELUS dealerships.
 

2018

  • Re-branded Wave, Ultranet, Nitro, and Adrenaline to XSTREAM 12, 40, 75 and 150
  • Westman Communications launched its Enhanced WiFi Service: a product designed to boost wireless signal strength for customer home networks.
  • Westman Communications Group’s Chief Technology Officer, Jeffrey De Sarno, was named the 2018 “Independent Technology Executive of the Year” in the Cablefax Top Ops Awards.
  • Was awarded as one of Manitoba’s Top 30 Employers for 2018
  • Connected Gilbert Plains, Grandview, and Elkhorn with High-Speed Internet.
  • Wins Tuned-In Canada Award: Best Story
  • Ended naming rights for the main arena at the Keystone Centre
 

2019

  • Selected as One of Manitoba’s Top 30 Employers
  • #ConnectingWestman Tour is created
  • All Westman-linked 34 communities are officially 100 percent fiber-connected!
 

2020

  • Internet Speed increased by Westman due to the move to DOCSIS 3.1 technology
  • Connected Minto, Rapid City, Oak River, Haywood, St. Claude, Elm Creek, Wawanesa, and Rathwell.
 

2021

  • Officially expanded to 45 Communities
  • Launch of #ConnectingWestman Funding Program
  • Launch of new TV & Streaming service: InfiniTV
  • CEO Dave Baxter retires after 26 years with Westman Communications Group
  • Won Tuned-In Canada CCSA Award: Best Content: Community Channel Programming
  • Connected Cypress River, Clearwater, Crystal City, Holland and Treherne.
 

2022

  • Wi-Fi 6 technology is now available with Westman’s Enhanced Home Wi-Fi
  • Westman Increases Internet Speeds
  • Connected the communities of Benito, Durban and Kenville