Ontario News

Canada and Ontario Increase Essex County’s Access to High-Speed Internet

Rural Ontarians benefitting from expanded broadband access

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing more than $3.1 million to bring reliable high-speed internet to 1,915 families, farms, and businesses in Essex County. Each government is contributing more than $63 million to SWIFT through the New Building Canada Fund’s Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component – Small Communities Fund.

“Our government continues to invest in infrastructure as we work to build a stronger and more resilient Canada. Today’s announcement is helping to deliver reliable broadband infrastructure while also supporting inclusive communities, creating good jobs and supporting a robust economy,” said the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities.

In July 2021, the governments of Canada and Ontario announced a historic agreement that will bring high-speed internet access to more than 280,000 Ontario households across the province through a joint investment totaling more than $1.2 billion.

“Our government is proud to partner with the Government of Ontario to connect three additional communities in Southern Ontario to a strong and reliable high-speed network,” said Irek Kusmierczyk, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion and Member of Parliament of Windsor—Tecumseh.

“These communities will now have access to an improved cellular connection, allowing residents and businesses to access important essential services wherever they are.”

The federal and provincial governments have partnered with Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc. to provide residents in the communities of Marentette Beach, Lighthouse Cove and Stoney Point with access to broadband infrastructure that will enable high-speed internet service.

“Ontario continues to deliver on its commitment to expand access to high-speed internet to communities across the province,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

“By building new broadband infrastructure in Essex County, we’re helping to build Ontario and strengthen rural communities. This investment is 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.”

This announcement marks the completion of three more projects under SWIFT and builds on the Ontario government’s plan to get the right infrastructure in the right places – ensuring people can live, work and farm where they want.

“This investment is helping people connect and stay connected by enabling them to access the support they need while improving the community. Our government is continuously carrying out its commitment to expand access to high-speed internet to communities in our province,” said MPP Trevor Jones, Chatham-Kent-Leamington, PA of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

“Broadband infrastructure in Essex County continues to help grow Ontario and build up rural communities.”

The contracts to expand broadband services in Essex County were awarded by SWIFT, a not-for-profit corporation initiated by local municipalities to address connectivity in Southwestern Ontario.

“The completion of these three high-speed internet projects in Essex County, that are now providing more than 1,900 previously underserved homes and businesses with access to fibre-optic connectivity, represent a significant step forward in improving internet access, bridging the digital divide and unlocking greater economic opportunities within the County,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair.

“SWIFT is proud to have partnered with the governments of Ontario and Canada on these very important projects, which will have long lasting and far-reaching positive impacts on the region for years to come.”

More than $255 million has been invested by the governments of Canada and Ontario and the private sector to bring high-speed internet access to more than 63,000 homes and businesses in Southwestern Ontario through SWIFT by the end of 2023.

Ontario launched a new interactive online map that shows where provincially funded high-speed internet projects are planned, currently under way, or have been recently completed in communities across the province.

Ontarians can visit Ontario.ca/highspeedinternet and search by address, community or municipality to find out more about provincially funded high-speed internet projects and where high-speed internet service is currently available.

August 18, 2023

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