Canada and Ontario Building Broadband in Elgin County
Patrick D Costa
ELGIN COUNTY –The governments of Canada and Ontario are each investing more than $1.68 million to begin construction of enhanced broadband infrastructure in Elgin County. These investments will increase access to fast, reliable high-speed internet to more than 1,100 homes, farms and businesses across the county.
“Reliable broadband infrastructure is a necessity for Canadian families and businesses in this increasingly connected world,” said Peter Fragiskatos, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament for London North Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “The start of construction of new fibre technology and additional network infrastructure in Elgin County will be welcome news for households and businesses in the area. It also gets us one step closer to connecting all Canadians to high-speed internet by 2030.”
As part of the Ontario government’s plan to bring access to high-speed internet to every community by 2025, these new connections will help farms and businesses attract new customers, grow their operations, create new jobs, while also enabling people to connect online to work, learn and access vital services.
“I know firsthand how important high-speed internet access is for farm families and businesses across Elgin County and rural Ontario,” said Rob Flack, MPP for Elgin – Middlesex – London and the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Lisa Thompson. “Our community will greatly benefit with the expansion of this high-speed internet project. I’m proud that our government is getting it done and building the critical infrastructure needed to build Ontario and support our residents in here in Elgin County.”
In partnership with Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc., the governments of Canada and Ontario are each committing more than $616,000 to support the construction of broadband infrastructure to provide access to high-speed internet service for more than 740 homes, farms and businesses in the communities of Tyrconnell, Duttona Beach, New Glasgow, Port Glasgow and Churchville, by September of 2022.
In addition, both governments are committing more than $1,070,000 to support construction of an additional infrastructure network in the county, to provide access to high-speed internet service for 390 homes, farms and businesses in the communities of Iona, Iona Station, Lawrence Station and Southwold by December of 2022.
The contracts to expand broadband services in Elgin 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. More than $255 million has been invested by the governments of Canada and Ontario and the private sector, to bring high-speed internet to more than 63,000 households and businesses in Southwestern Ontario through SWIFT by the end of 2025.
“SWIFT is proud to partner with the federal and provincial governments as we mark the start of construction of two high-speed broadband infrastructure projects in Elgin County, to expand service to more than an additional 1,100 homes and businesses located throughout the municipalities of West Elgin, Dutton, Dunwich and Southwold,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “Once complete, the newly installed networks will provide many more residents with access to fast reliable connectivity and support greater economic growth for businesses throughout the region.”