Wightman is a telecom company. But that's just what we do - it isn't who we are. More importantly, Wightman is a company with a long history, a history of good service and of being a part of your community.
Wightman Telecom is a company founded on the "people come first" principle. Imagine, a Telecom company that has real, live people who will answer your call. A local company that is just a short drive or call away.
Started by the Wightman family in 1908, the "Little Telephone Company That Grew" has not forgotten its roots. As we grow into new communities and new technologies, we still believe that one-on-one customer service is the future.
Passed from generation to generation. (From left) Ray Wightman and his two sons, Blair and Paul Wightman.
When local phone service came to the Clifford area in the early 1900's, Robert Wightman, a local farmer in nearby Howick Township, desperately wanted to have service on his farm. Bell would not meet Robert's request for phone service. Rather than pursuing Bell's service further, Robert decided to start his own phone company by stringing lines from his farm to his neighbors throughout the township. Thus, in 1908 the Robert Wightman Telephone Company was born. Robert continued to run the operations of the telephone system from the back kitchen of his farm house, and eventually, after connecting up sixty of his neighbors, Robert was able to connect into the local Bell exchange in Clifford. When the Great Depression hit, Bell unloaded many rural exchanges, and sold the Clifford exchange to Robert. In 1933 Robert retired and handed over the management of the Robert Wightman Telephone Company to his son Ben.
Ben weathered the years of the Great Depression and World War II and continued to oversee the operations until his death in 1948.
After Ben's death, his widow Leila, and his son Ray took over the company. In the mid 1960's a wave of change was sweeping over the telephone industry. New technology brought in automated dial switching which meant the days of friendly operator connecting callers was soon going to be a thing of the past. As the new wave swept over the industry, many small municipal telephone systems began to be bought up by Bell. Ray decided to join this trend by buying several local exchanges surrounding his system. When Ray was done buying up these small local exchanges, he began to bring new technologies such as underground copper cable, and automated switching.
In the mid 1980's Ray's sons Paul and Blair became involved with the day to day operations of the company. In 1992 Paul and Blair jumped at the chance to double the size of their company by buying the neighboring South Bruce Rural Telephone Company. In 1995 Paul and Blair introduced mid-western Ontario to a new service called the Internet, which would allow the people of mid-western Ontario to have the world at their fingertips. In 1996 Wightman Telecom moved into a new flagship office complex on the north end of Clifford. Today, Paul and Blair continue to operate the business and the fifth generation is now in place to someday take over and move forward with the Wightman family's tradition of providing quality telecom service and products throughout mid-western Ontario.)
In 2005, Wightman Telecom became a competitive local phone provider for several towns in south-central Ontario. In 2008, under the leadership of Paul and Blair, Wightman Telecom introduced its largest project to date - Fibre to the Home. Paving the road to the future by installing fibre optics directly to homes in Harriston, Listowel, Mount Forest, Palmerston, and now Hanover, Wightman provides these towns with some of the fastest internet speeds in Ontario (according to an independent study done by SpeedTest.net). Fibre to the Home is the delivery of a communications signal over optical fibre and is a fast-growing method of providing vastly higher speeds to consumers. Fibre replaces existing copper infrastructure such as telephone wires and coaxial television cable with a faster, more reliable method of delivering internet, television, and phone services. Wightman was the first company to provide true Fibre to the Home to entire communities in south-central Ontario. "Customers shouldn't have to live in a large, urban centre to have the benefit of advanced telecommunications services," says Blair Wightman. "By providing Fibre to the Home, Wightman Telecom is improving the quality of life for all families who live in, or plan to relocate to these four towns."
Now into its second century of putting "people first”, Wightman Telecom looks forward to its latest initiative - providing mobility services.