Delivering high-speed Internet to more people in Norfolk County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

July 15, 2020

Construction of the infrastructure network is up and running with service available by August of 2021. This project is valued at more than $7.5 million. The governments of Canada and Ontario have each committed up to more than $1.3 million towards completion of this project. 

The contracts to expand high-speed fibre-optic broadband services in Norfolk County were awarded by Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc, a not-for-profit corporation initiated by local municipalities to address connectivity in Southwestern Ontario.

“Enhanced broadband and call service helps students do their homework and people to work at home.  This work in progress will help address some of the gaps in these rural and small town communities.There is still much work to be done.” said MPP Barrett.

“During this critical time, it’s become even more clear that all Canadians need to stay connected,” said The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development. “This project will bring high-speed internet to businesses, public buildings, and residences within Norfolk County, ensuring that residents have access to the programs and services they need. SWIFT is one of hundreds of our partner organizations that are working hard to connect Canadians. We are proud to work in partnership to move this important project forward.” 

“Having high-speed internet is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Far too many families and businesses in our community are frustrated because they don’t have a reliable internet connection. Our government’s investment into Norfolk County will help connect them and create new opportunities.” 

The Ontario government recognizes how important rural broadband access is for individuals, families and businesses and that has been reinforced by recent challenges. Work continues toward bridging the gaps in broadband access in Southwestern Ontario, as part of a combined $190 million investment to bring fast, reliable internet to thousands of homes and businesses through the SWIFT project. 

Creating more ways to strengthen rural economies is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario together. Reliable and affordable broadband internet will allow communities to attract new development, strengthen local economies and create more well-paying jobs and opportunities in rural Ontario. 
QUICK FACTS
* The Province is investing in the $190 million SWIFT project to bring high-speed broadband to 50,000 more homes and businesses across Southwestern Ontario. 
* The Ontario government’s Broadband and Cellular Action Plan has the potential to leverage up to $1 billion in partner funding for broadband infrastructure investments over five years, resulting in new connections for up to 220,000 homes and businesses. This will lead to community, social and economic benefits well beyond the provincial investment. 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Up to Speed: Ontario’s Broadband and Cellular Action Plan

For more information, contact MPP Barrett at 519-428-0446 or toby.[email protected]