in Norfolk County
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 6, 2022
NORFOLK COUNTY – As part of the Ontario government’s plan to connect every community in the province to high-speed internet by 2025, the governments of Canada and Ontario are investing nearly $1.2 million to build new broadband infrastructure in Norfolk County.
The completion of this $1.8 million project in June 2022, with Canada and Ontario each providing up to $592,000, will help connect more than 890 homes, farms and businesses in Long Point and Old Cut to high-speed internet. The completion enables farms and businesses to attract new customers, grow their operations and create new jobs while also helping more rural Ontarians connect online to work, learn and access economic and social opportunities.
“Access to high-speed internet is essential for Canadians living in rural communities,” said Jennifer O’Connell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “The completion of a new fibre optic network in Norfolk County will mean hundreds of residents will have improved access to internet, helping them grow their businesses, find work, access essential services, and connect with the world.”
“We’re delivering on our commitment to provide access to high-speed internet for rural Ontario,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Building new broadband infrastructure in Norfolk County will help build Ontario and strengthen rural communities by helping people stay in touch with loved ones, enabling them to access the supports they need and providing a much-needed boost to the local economy.”
The contract to expand broadband services in Norfolk County was awarded by Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc, a not-for-profit corporation, initiated by local municipalities to address connectivity in Southwestern Ontario.
“I have long advocated for better internet service in rural Ontario, that’s why I am very pleased to announce this broadband expansion in Norfolk County,” said Toby Barrett, Member of Provincial Parliament for Haldimand-Norfolk. “Hundreds of families, farms and businesses will benefit from this project. Our government remains committed to building critical infrastructure needed to support communities in Haldimand-Norfolk and across the province.”
More than $255 million has been invested by the governments of Canada and Ontario and the private sector, to provide access to high-speed internet to more than 63,000 households and businesses in Southwestern Ontario through SWIFT by the end of 2025.
“SWIFT, in partnership with the governments of Ontario and Canada, is pleased to mark the start of construction on a high-speed fibre-optic network in Norfolk County that will provide almost 900 homes and businesses throughout the communities of Long Point and Old Cut with access to fast reliable internet connectivity,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “Together with our partners, SWIFT continues to drive forward with its Southwestern Ontario broadband expansion plan and today’s announcement is positive news for the residents of Norfolk County as these new connections will further support greater social and economic growth throughout the region.”
- The governments of Canada and Ontario are each contributing more than $63 million to SWIFT through the New Building Canada Fund’s Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component – Small Communities Fund of the Investing in Canada plan.
- Expanding access to broadband and cellular service is part of Ontario Onwards: Ontario’s COVID-19 Action Plan for a People-Focused Government, which includes more than 30 projects that are changing the way people and businesses interact with government.
- In 2021, Ontario passed the Supporting Broadband and Infrastructure Expansion Act, 2021 to help speed up construction of broadband projects. To build on this legislation, the Ontario government introduced the Getting Ontario Connected Act, 2022. The proposed changes would remove barriers, duplication, and delays, making it easier and faster to build high-speed internet infrastructure across the province. If passed, this legislation would help meet our government’s commitment to connect every community with access to high-speed internet by the end of 2025.