A small Nova Scotia-based company is upset about losing a provincial government contract to deliver high-speed internet, saying the loss could force it out of business.
Acadian Communications of Chéticamp lost to Bell Aliant in the second round of bidding for qualified suppliers to provide high-speed internet service.
It missed the first round of bidding due to a change in company ownership. Bell Aliant was among the successful bidders in that round and is working on providing service in the Chéticamp area.
Andrew LeBlanc, owner of Acadian Communications, said his company is already preparing to lose customers.
“As Bell comes in and steals away customers, there’s a point in the not too far future where I think we could go under,” he said.
Acadian Communications provides internet for around 800 customers and employs four people, including LeBlanc. He said if business drops to just 200 or 300 customers, the company won’t be profitable anymore.
Smaller companies losing out
LeBlanc said they offered a lower bid and asked for a 40 per cent subsidy from the province, while Bell Aliant asked for a 50 per cent subsidy.
“They’re going to cover the maximum amount of houses which is great for themselves and great for Nova Scotia residents, but for myself and several other companies across the province it’s not good at all,” said LeBlanc.
The second round of bidding went entirely to Bell Aliant. The company will provide high-speed internet for another 32,000 homes and businesses. The provincial government is providing $59 million for the project.
“In effect, the provincial government is funding the biggest telecommunication company to bankrupt our company,” said LeBlanc. “Something with that just doesn’t sit right.”
You’d be excused for not following the recent brouhaha associated with Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s announcement that the company would no longer play politics. The statement, posted to Medium on Sunday, is a doozy.
“In short, I want Coinbase to be laser focused on achieving its mission, because I believe that this is the way that we can have the biggest impact on the world. We will do this by playing as a championship team, focus on building, and being transparent about what our mission is and isn’t,” Armstrong wrote.
He rattled off a number of examples of this, culminating in something that gave many pause: “We don’t engage here when issues are unrelated to our core mission, because we believe impact only comes with focus.”
Armstrong’s post is a direct reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement, the pandemic, the election, and the civil unrest that has become a focal point in a extraordinarily tumultuous year. In June, Coinbase employees clamored for Armstrong to vocally support BLM, which he finally did on Twitter. The reaction from so-called CryptoTwitter, a loose association of weirdos and anti-goldbugs who basically pump and dump tokens all day, was swift and angry.
“I want to say unequivocally fuck coinbase,” wrote one “trader.”
Armstrong, for his part, tapped into a growing movement inside Silicon Valley, a movement that basically says, “Fuck your feelings.” Based on his statement on Medium, Armstrong believes, probably incorrectly, that his army of coders wants nothing more than to produce clean, usable products for the cryptocurrency community.
There are three types of crypto users who love Armstrong’s argument. In order of odiousness, we begin with the bored coder who once