The governments of Canada and Ontario are each investing more than $1.7 million to bring high-speed internet access to more than 1,645 families, farms and businesses in Simcoe County.
“Building modern and reliable internet connection infrastructure for rural communities is how Canada will close the digital divide between large urban centres and rural communities,” said Tony Van Bynen, Member of Parliament for Newmarket—Aurora on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “New broadband networks are now in service in several communities across Simcoe County, and are supporting homes, farms and businesses as they access essential services, work remotely, study from home, and connect with customers around the globe.”
In partnership with Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc, the completion of construction of broadband infrastructure is now providing access to fast, reliable high-speed internet service to more than 430 families, farms and businesses in the community of New Lowell, as well as 1,215 families, farms and businesses in the communities of Penville, Rich Hill, Connor, Hockley Valley and Rosemont.
“I am proud that our government continues to deliver on our commitment to expand access to high-speed internet to rural communities across the province,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Providing access to high-speed internet in Simcoe County will help build Ontario and strengthen our important rural communities by helping people stay in touch with loved ones, enabling them to access the supports, while providing a much-needed boost to the local economy.”
Providing access to high-speed internet in these communities brings Ontario one step closer to delivering on its goal to connect every community with high-speed internet access by the end of 2025, while also building stronger rural communities and laying the foundation for long-term economic growth.
“I thank Minister Thompson and the Ontario Government for showing great leadership and prioritizing critical infrastructure like enhanced internet services to support rural communities,” said Brian Saunderson, Member of Provincial Parliament for Simcoe-Grey. “Our residents and businesses will see great benefits from improved internet access, and I will keep working to ensure high-speed internet service is available to every corner of Simcoe-Grey.”
The contracts to increase access to high-speed internet in Simcoe 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 access to more than 63,000 homes and businesses in Southwestern Ontario through SWIFT.
“Building and improving critical broadband infrastructure is key to promoting sustainable economic growth and social well-being in our small and rural communities across Southwestern Ontario,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “Together with our community partners, SWIFT is pleased to mark the completion of two high-speed internet projects in Simcoe County. Collectively these projects are now providing 1,600 additional homes and businesses with access to high-speed internet service and with these newly established fibre-optic networks now in place, we move one step closer to a more connected Southwestern Ontario.”