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Expanding Access to Broadband Connectivity in Wellington County

WELLINGTON COUNTY – More than 280 homes and businesses of Wellington County are one step closer to fast, reliable internet access with construction now underway for expanded broadband infrastructure in the community.

The Governments of Canada and Ontario have each committed up to $267,000 to create more economic and educational opportunities in rural, remote and underserved areas of the county through an improved, modern broadband network.

Construction of the infrastructure network in the community of Eden Mills has commenced with service starting in August 2021. This project is valued at $976,000 and will deliver reliable internet access to more homes and businesses in underserved areas of Wellington County.

The contracts to expand fibre-optic broadband services in Wellington 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. To date, more than 3,190 households and businesses in Southwestern Ontario have received access to improved broadband through SWIFT.

“I have been a long-time advocate for universal internet access and through this investment, I am happy to see that we are one step closer to achieving this goal,” said Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph. “I am proud of the work our government has done, in collaboration with the Province of Ontario, Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus and SWIFT, to work towards our goal of ensuring all Canadian homes and businesses across Canada are connected and have access to high-speed internet. It is our government’s priority for each and every Canadian to have quick, reliable internet service, so that they may have access to essential services that are critical to ensuring the health, safety, and wellbeing of their families.”

“The construction of broadband infrastructure in Wellington County will help businesses to expand, create new jobs and connect more people to the services and information they need,” said the Honourable Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Broadband connectivity provides our local businesses with access to a world of new online customers and provides rural residents with immediate access to friends and family members, as well as educational opportunities, health care, and a world of other services.”

"Now more than ever, families and businesses are needing access to reliable internet,” said Randy Pettapiece, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and MPP for Perth-Wellington. “Construction underway in Eden Mills brings them even closer to accessing better connectivity.”

“Broadband improvements continue to progress in Wellington County, as work is now underway in the community of Eden Mills to bring high-speed internet service to more than 280 homes and businesses,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “SWIFT would like to thank the Governments of Ontario and Canada for the ongoing support as we continue to work together to deliver long-term sustainable broadband solutions to further support rural communities across Southwestern Ontario."

Efforts continue to bridge the gaps in broadband access in Southwestern Ontario, as part of a combined federal – provincial investment of more than $191 million to bring fast, reliable and affordable internet to thousands of homes and businesses. This will allow communities to attract new development, strengthen local economies and create more well-paying jobs and opportunities in rural Ontario.

Source : Ontario

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