NIAGARA REGION - The Governments of Canada and Ontario marked the signing of all contracts for broadband infrastructure that will deliver reliable internet access to nearly 5,629 homes and businesses across Niagara Region.
Both levels of government have each committed up to $4.4 million to create more economic and educational opportunities in rural, remote and underserved areas of Southwestern Ontario through an improved, modern broadband network.
Construction of the infrastructure network is expected to be up and running with service expected to start through the second half of 2022. These projects are valued at $21.2 million and will deliver reliable internet access to more homes and businesses in underserved areas of Niagara Region.
The contracts to expand fibre-optic broadband services in Niagara Region were awarded by Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc, a not-for-profit corporation initiated by local municipalities to address connectivity in Southwestern Ontario.
"Now more than ever, high speed internet access is essential for all Canadians - no matter where they live," said Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development. "This SWIFT project will bring broadband service to nearly 5,629 underserved households and businesses here in the Niagara Region, and ensures that residents can better connect to their work, online learning, healthcare services, and stay in touch with family, friends, and loved ones. Since 2015, our government has helped connect over 900 communities across Canada and we will continue to build on that progress through our $1.75 billion Universal Broadband Fund."
"The construction of broadband infrastructure in Niagara Region will help businesses to expand, create new job opportunities and connect more people to the services and information they need," said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "Our government recognizes the importance of expanding broadband connectivity to our rural and remote areas and we're making it happen."
"These investments will mean more access to high-speed internet for my constituents in Niagara West," said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West. "Since first being elected, I promised to advocate for investments in rural broadband, and the signing of these contracts demonstrates that concrete action is being taken for those living in rural parts of the riding. I will keep working with my colleagues, the Minister and Parliamentary Assistant's for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, to invest in rural broadband in Niagara."
"Increasing access to reliable broadband service is at the forefront of our province's economic recovery and is critical to ensuring the long-term sustainability of our rural communities," said David Mayberry, SWIFT Board Chair. "Today's newly announced $21.2 million investment in fibre-optic broadband will bring increased employment opportunities and significant economic benefits to the Niagara Region. We would like to thank the Governments of Ontario and Canada for their ongoing support, as we continue to work together to accelerate the expansion of broadband infrastructure across Southwestern Ontario."
Work continues 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