Funding will add more than 6,100 homes, farms and businesses to high-speed internet access.
By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com; Image via www.pixabay.com
On April 1, 2022, OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) announced that Grey County and Bruce County will soon gain better broadband internet access, uniting a combined 6,100 farms, homes and businesses.
The plan is for every community in Ontario and Canada to have high-speed internet access by 2025.
Expected to be completed by December of 2022, the governments of Canada and Ontario are each spending $3 million to support construction of new broadband infrastructure. It will provide access to high-speed internet to over 4,300 homes, farms and businesses in the communities of: Sauble Beach, Sauble Beach North, Lion's Head, Colpoy's Bay, Wiarton, Vesta, Ellengowan, Pinkerton, Eden Grove, Cargill, Cargill Siding, Dunkeld, Chepstow, Otter Creek, Pearl Lake, Maple Hill and Malcolm.
The governments of Ontario and Canada will each commit $2.5 million for construction of new broadband infrastructure. The new networks will provide access to high-speed internet for more than 1,800 homes, farms and businesses in the communities of: Rockford, Chatsworth, Williamsford, Holland Centre, Dornoch, Cruickshank, Springmount, Leith, and Annan. The project is expected to be completed by November of 2022.
These investments are in addition to projects currently underway which will bring high-speed internet to more than 1,200 homes, farms and businesses in Grey County and to more than 1,400 homes, farms and businesses in Bruce County.
“Reliable broadband infrastructure is crucially important for rural communities across Canada to thrive,” explained 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. “Through our government’s partnership with Ontario, thousands of homes, farms and businesses will be getting improved access to high-speed internet in Grey and Bruce counties. It will enable residents to access educational resources, better health services and more economic opportunities.”
Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said, “We’re delivering on our government’s commitment to provide access to high-speed internet for rural Ontario.
“New connections like the ones announced today, will help families stay in touch and access the supports they need while providing a much-needed boost to the local economy. It’s this type of critical infrastructure that will build Ontario and benefit the entire community.”
The completion of these projects will provide farms and businesses the ability to attract new customers, grow their operations, create new jobs, and stay competitive in today’s digital marketplace. It will also help more rural Ontarians work, learn, access essential services and stay in touch with family and friends, no matter where they live.
“In rural Ontario, we know good internet access is a gateway to growth," stated Bill Walker, Member of Provincial Parliament for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound. "This recent expansion into Grey Bruce is fantastic and timely news that will connect more households and businesses to high-speed internet and gives people improved access they didn’t have before. This broadband expansion will be key to our recovery and future success, and I welcome and appreciate this latest internet expansion.”
The deal to expand broadband services was contracted to Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc., a not-for-profit corporation, initiated by local municipalities to address connectivity in Southwestern Ontario.
“SWIFT, in partnership with the governments of Ontario and Canada and alongside with our local and regional Internet Service Providers, continues to drive forward the expansion of critical broadband infrastructure throughout the counties of Grey-Bruce and across Southwestern Ontario,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “These very important broadband investments and the new high-speed connections will support local communities and provide many more residents with increased social and economic growth opportunities.”
Over $255 million has been invested by the Governments of Canada and Ontario and the private sector, to bring high-speed internet to more than 58,000 households and businesses in Southwestern Ontario through SWIFT.