Canada’s fibre optic specialist, Dixon Networks, turns 50

Quiet tech leader delivers ultra high-speed broadband to communities of every size

VANCOUVER, BC – When Dixon Networks hit the market in 1966, Lester B. Pearson was Prime Minister, The Beatles ruled the charts and Whistler Mountain unveiled its very first public ski lifts.

Many homes in rural Canada lacked phone service, and in major cities some people still used party lines.

No one could have imagined the technology revolution the Dixon team would experience in the ensuing decades.

Today 87 percent of Canadian homes have Internet access, according to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority. Approximately, 68 percent of Canadians own a smartphone, according to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

Dixon has been a quiet leader in Canada’s tech industry for fifty years,” says Brian Harris, Dixon’s CEO. “We laid the fibre that allowed people across British Columbia to first surf the Web. Now, we’re building ultra-fast Internet capability across the country, so people in communities of every size have the same opportunities for personal, educational and business growth.”

Steve Sanders began as a summer intern at Dixon in 1972, went on to be CEO and now serves as Chairman. He says, “The company was born from a need to bring phone service to remote communities. Now we’re bringing state-of-the-art fibre optic technology. It’s always been about connecting people.”

Fifty years in business produced countless milestones, including:

  • 1966: B.C. Tel became Dixon’s first customer and TELUS continues to be a key customer today
  • 1978: Placed B.C.’s first fibre optic cable from Lone Butte to 100 Mile House
  • 1983: Introduced an unorthodox ‘turnkey’ service, providing design, engineering and construction services under one roof. To this day, this all-in-one approach sets it apart in the telecom market and makes life easier for customers
  • 1998: Made the list of B.C.’s Best Managed Private Companies for the first time
  • 2003: Began construction of the Alberta SuperNet, an ultra high-speed broadband network that connects 429 communities
  • 2006: Entered the renewable energy market, installing fibre optic technology at a wind farm in Saskatoon to maximize energy production
  • 2014: Provided the latest fibre-to-the-home technology to Hope, B.C., delivering unprecedented Internet speeds directly to homes and businesses

Jared Gould, system planner and designer at Rogers Communications says, “Rogers has literally been working with Dixon for decades. Dixon knows fibre optics like no one else and we can trust them to get the job done right. It’s impossible to be in business for 50 years without a keen talent for making customers happy.”

Harris and Sanders both credit Dixon’s rare longevity to the company’s skilled and determined employees.

Harris says, “To celebrate and honour the people who make this company a success, today we’re launching the Dixon Leadership Award, an annual scholarship to an employee who truly embodies our values of integrity, perseverance and leadership.”

About Dixon Networks

Dixon Networks provides turnkey fibre optic services to connect communities, enable commerce and optimize renewable energy. The company has offices in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. Customers include TELUS, Rogers, Shaw, Delta Cable, Province of Ontario, Alberta SuperNet and the City of Burnaby.

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
StumbleUpon icon
Digg icon
LinkedIn icon
Reddit icon
e-mail icon

Oleg Khaykin, CEO of Viavi Solutions, speaks candidly to Fibre Systems about how to compete in the challenging world of communications test and measurement


Hao Dong describes how innovative optical fibres and cabling could provide substantial benefits for connecting data centres across a wide range of distances


Richard Ednay considers whether fibre characterisation needs to be modified to suit modern optical communication systems that are likely to include coherent transmission


ECOC is the place to be to discover the latest technological and commercial innovations in optical components and networks. Here we highlight some of the exhibitors and events taking place in the exhibition hall.