FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 1, 2019
First Request for Proposals issued for design and construction of modern Broadband network
SIMCOE – The Ontario government is one step closer to helping bring high-speed internet service to Norfolk County, through the first Request for Proposals (RFP) for up to $8.3-million in broadband infrastructure.
When complete, the project will help communities and businesses in Norfolk County better compete in global markets, attract new jobs and improve the quality of life for residents.
“Too many people, especially those living in rural and remote communities, do not have access to reliable internet access,” said Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure. “It means they can’t work from home, stay connected to family and friends, or access public services such as health care and education. In our increasingly digital world, being disconnected means being disadvantaged. This must change.”
“This is very exciting news for residents and businesses in Norfolk County,” said Toby Barrett, MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk. “The arrival of high-speed internet will allow businesses to run more efficiently and families to access services, book important appointments and better connect to the world.”
“Today’s announcement marks a major milestone in our project as we continue to work in partnership with the government to support the expansion of affordable, high-speed Internet in rural Ontario,” said David Mayberry, Chair of the Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) project. “Dedicated investment in broadband infrastructure is critical to the economic and social prosperity of Southwestern Ontario.”
The RFP has been issued by SWIFT, a not-for-profit corporation initiated by local municipalities to address connectivity in Southwestern Ontario.
Prequalified internet service providers have been invited to submit network proposals aimed at connecting business facilities, public buildings and residences in underserved areas within Norfolk County.
The government recently announced the province’s plan to improve and expand internet and cell phone service in rural and remote communities to help people stay connected and ensure open Ontario is open for business and jobs.
The investment of $315 million in this plan includes $150 million for a new broadband program, which will leverage private sector funding along with support from other levels of government to drive investment and expansion in unserved and underserved communities.
Ontario’s plan is expected to generate up to $1 billion in total investment 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.
- Ontario has committed $63.7 million towards SWIFT’s more than $180 million planned project to build high-speed internet throughout Southwestern Ontario.
|For more information contact Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446 or at [email protected]|