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Ontario continues to expand its rural broadband access

Ontario continues to expand its rural broadband access

More residents in Dufferin County to have high-speed internet capabilities to help with agri-businesses and more.

By Andrew Joseph, Image by Luisella Planeta Leoni on Pixabay

The governments of Canada and Ontario, in partnership with Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc., have completed construction on a provincial broadband infrastructure project to provide better access for rural communities and agri-businesses.

More than 630 families, farms, and businesses in Dufferin County will have access to fast, reliable high-speed internet service.

“Our government is delivering on its commitment to provide access to high-speed internet throughout rural Ontario,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). “Projects like this in Dufferin County that connect more communities to high-speed internet are crucial to building a stronger Ontario. We’re helping rural residents stay in touch with loved ones, enabling them to access supports they need while providing a much-needed boost to the local economy.”

Both levels of government have each committed more than $538,000 to the project, to provide the communities of Laurel, Salem, and Camilla with access to high-speed internet.

The governments of Canada and Ontario are each contributing more than $63 million to SWIFT through the New Building Canada Fund’s Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component – Small Communities Fund.

The Ontario government has committed nearly $4 billion to bring high-speed internet access to every corner of the province by the end of 2025. This is the largest single investment in high-speed internet in any province.

“Reliable broadband infrastructure is a necessity for Canadian families and businesses in this increasingly connected world,” said Maninder Sidhu, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Member of Parliament for Brampton East, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities.

Sidhu continued: “The completion of new fibre technology and additional network infrastructure in Dufferin County gets us one step closer to connecting all Canadians to high-speed internet by 2030.”

The completion of this project brings Ontario one step closer to delivering on its commitment to bring access to high-speed internet to every community in the province by 2025, while also building stronger rural communities and laying the foundation for long-term economic growth.

“Today’s broadband expansion announcement is another example of how our government is making broadband access a priority in Dufferin - Caledon,” said Sylvia Jones, MPP for Dufferin - Caledon. “There is no doubt that reliable, high-speed internet access is critical for families and businesses in our community and throughout Ontario. Whether it is for students completing school assignments, operating a business, or keeping in touch with friends and family, our government continues to expand broadband access for residents in Mono, Laurel, and across Dufferin-Caledon.”

The contract to expand broadband services in Dufferin County was awarded by SWIFT, 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.

“With the support of the federal and provincial governments, SWIFT is making important progress throughout Dufferin County to expand access to reliable broadband,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “Today’s announcement brings us one step closer to a more connected Southwestern Ontario as more than 630 additional homes and businesses within the region now have access to high-speed internet connectivity.”

In July 2021, the governments of Canada and Ontario had announced an agreement to deliver high-speed Internet to nearly 280,000 rural Ontario households in hundreds of communities across the province, through an equal federal-provincial investment totaling more than $1.2 billion.

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