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Rural broadband internet provision hitting its stride in Ontario

Rural broadband internet provision hitting its stride in Ontario

OMAFRA announces broadband internet infrastructure upgrades for the counties of Bruce, Huron, and Oxford in rural Ontario to help farmers, business, and homes become more economically viable.

By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com; Photo via www.pixabay.com

OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) announced on April 21, 2022, that Huron County, Bruce County and Oxford County are the latest Ontario regions to get the go-ahead for broadband internet infrastructure to help a combined 2,000 farms, business and homes be more economically viable and that it has already completed connect for 440 more.

Both the Federal and provincial government are committed to ensure every community in Ontario and the rest of Canada have access to high-speed internet service by 2025 by putting the infrastructure in place. Consumers are still able to opt for their provider of choice.

Here’s the breakdown:

Huron and Bruce Counties

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing $1.7 million to bring fast, reliable high-speed internet to more than 800 homes, farms, and businesses in: Henfryn, Wroxeter, Gorrie, Fordwich, and Summerhill in Huron County by July 2022.

In addition, both governments through its partnership with Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc. have completed construction on a new broadband network that will soon connect more than 440 homes, businesses and farms in Huron and Bruce counties to a high-speed internet

The announcement builds on the projects already underway in Bruce County, which will bring high-speed internet to an additional 1,000 homes, farms, and businesses in various communities within the region, by September of 2022.

“The internet has brought the world at our fingertips, but for thousands of Canadians living in rural areas, the benefits haven’t fully materialized,” 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. “Our reliance on the internet has never been higher and will only continue to grow. Our partnership with the Government of Ontario and Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology Inc. is ensuring homes, farms and businesses in Southwestern Ontario have access to dependable, high-speed internet that will help them succeed in our interconnected world.”

Added Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and MPP for Huron – Bruce: “As both the minister for rural affairs and the local MPP, I know firsthand how important high-speed internet access is for families and businesses in our community and throughout rural Ontario.

“They need these services to do their work—whether it’s schoolwork or running a business. That’s why I’m proud that our government is getting it done and building the critical infrastructure needed to build Ontario and support our residents in Huron and Bruce counties,” she continued.

Oxford County

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing nearly $500,000 to bring fast, reliable high-speed internet to more than 200 homes, farms, and businesses in Oxford County. In partnership with SWIFT, the completion of this broadband project in September 2022 will help connect the communities of Culloden, Delmer, and Ostrande.

For several years, I have been advocating for reliable and affordable broadband for rural Ontario residents," said Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman. "The construction of new broadband infrastructure will benefit numerous families and businesses and help to expand and create new opportunities. Our government has made internet expansion a priority and we are getting it done, not only for residents in Oxford County but across the province.”

Jennifer O’Connell added: ““A fast and reliable internet connection is essential to the growth and prosperity of all Canadian communities. In partnership with the Government of Ontario, our government is thrilled that construction of a new fibre optic network has begun, providing the communities of Culloden, Delmer, and Ostrander with enhanced internet access. This network will soon connect hundreds of homes, farms and businesses with family, friends, customers, and essential services.”

Summed up Lisa Thompson, “Our government is getting it done and delivering on its commitment to provide access to high-speed internet throughout rural Ontario. Building new broadband infrastructure in Oxford 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 while providing a much-needed boost to the local economy.”

Connecting 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 continue to expand broadband service throughout Southwestern Ontario,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “With the important infrastructure investments made in Oxford County and with construction now underway within the Townships of South-West Oxford and Zorra, many more residents and communities will soon have access to long-term sustainable fibre-optic connectivity.”


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