‘Great benefits’: Province finishes $1.7M rural internet boost

“SWIFT, along with our community partners, is pleased to celebrate the completion of two high-speed Internet projects in Simcoe County,” says the official.

Thanks to $1.7 million in investments by the provincial and federal governments, high-speed Internet is on the way for more than 1,645 families, farms, and businesses throughout Simcoe County.

During an announcement in New Lowell on Friday, Simcoe-Gray MPP Brian Saunderson thanked MPP Lisa Thompson who serves as Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

“I thank Minister Thompson and the Ontario government for demonstrating great leadership and prioritizing critical infrastructure such as improved internet services to support rural communities,” said Saunderson. “Our residents and businesses will benefit greatly from improved Internet access, and I will continue to work to ensure high-speed Internet service is available in every corner of Simcoe-Gray.”

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The county has pledged to connect every community with access to high-speed internet by the end of 2025.

The contracts to increase high-speed Internet access in Simcoe County have been awarded by Southwestern Integrated Fiber Technology (SWIFT) Inc, a non-profit corporation launched by local municipalities to address connectivity in southwestern Ontario. The governments of Canada and Ontario and the private sector have invested more than $255 million to provide high-speed Internet access to more than 63,000 homes and businesses in southwestern Ontario through the SWIFT system.

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In partnership with SWIFT, completion of broadband infrastructure construction now provides access to reliable, fast high-speed Internet service to more than 430 families, farms, and businesses in the New Lowell community alone.

The Governments of Canada and Ontario each contribute over $63 million to SWIFT through the Canadian New Build Fund’s Provincial-Regional Infrastructure Component – Small Communities Fund. This agreement will provide high-speed Internet access to more than 280,000 households across Ontario through a total investment of more than $1.2 billion, co-funded by both levels of government.

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“Building and improving basic broadband infrastructure is central to promoting sustainable economic growth and social well-being in our small, rural communities across southwestern Ontario,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Chairman.

“Together with our community partners, SWIFT is pleased to celebrate the completion of two high-speed Internet projects in Simcoe County. With these newly established fiber optic networks now in place, we are one step closer to a more connected southwestern Ontario,” McNamara said.


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