Funding will add nearly 900 homes, farms and businesses to high-speed internet access.
By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com; Image via www.pixabay.com
On April 6, 2022, OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) announced that the Norfolk County will have its internet service supplemented to provide over 890 farms, homes and businesses with high-speed broadband.
The plan is for every community—especially those in more rural areas in Ontario and Canada—to have high-speed internet access by 2025.
The Norfolk County project is expected to cost $1.8 million, with the governments of Canada and Ontario investing nearly $1.2 million combined to build the new broadband infrastructure.
To be completed in June 2022, it will connect those in Long Point and Old Cut to high-speed internet, which will help farms and businesses attract new customers, grow their operations, and create new jobs while also helping more rural Ontarians connect online to work, learn and access economic and social opportunities.
“Access to high-speed internet is essential for Canadians living in rural communities,” said 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. “The completion of a new fibre optic network in Norfolk County will mean hundreds of residents will have improved access to internet, helping them grow their businesses, find work, access essential services, and connect with the world.”
Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs added, “We’re delivering on our commitment to provide access to high-speed internet for rural Ontario. Building new broadband infrastructure in Norfolk County will help build Ontario and strengthen rural communities by helping people stay in touch with loved ones, enabling them to access the supports they need and providing a much-needed boost to the local economy.”
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.
Over $255 million has been invested by the governments of Canada and Ontario and the private sector, to provide access to high-speed internet to more than 63,000 households and businesses in Southwestern Ontario through SWIFT by the end of 2025.
“I have long advocated for better internet service in rural Ontario, that’s why I am very pleased to announce this broadband expansion in Norfolk County,” said Toby Barrett, Member of Provincial Parliament for Haldimand-Norfolk. “Hundreds of families, farms and businesses will benefit from this project. Our government remains committed to building critical infrastructure needed to support communities in Haldimand-Norfolk and across the province.”