SWIFT announces $10.4 million investment in fibre-optic internet across Dufferin County

October 5, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

A lot of households in Dufferin County will be pleased to hear that faster internet speeds are on the way.

Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) has awarded contracts to support five fibre-optic broadband projects, totalling $10.4 million, to deliver high-speed internet to more than 1,660 homes and business in Dufferin County.

SWIFT is a regional broadband expansion project initiated by the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus and delivered in partnership with member municipalities and the government of Ontario and Canada It is committed to improving access to high-speed internet services across Southwestern Ontario.

The project is in partnership with the the federal and provincial governments.

“Expanding high-speed broadband access to under-served areas within southwestern Ontario is essential to the economic recovery and long-term prosperity of our region,” said SWIFT board chair, David Mayberry. “SWIFT, in partnership with the Government of Ontario and Canada, is proud to announce that funding has been awarded to support five fibre-to-the-home projects to expand broadband services across Dufferin County. The newly announced projects will assist in accelerating the rollout of high-speed internet to further support economic development within the region and continue to improve quality of life for our residents.”

Funding by SWIFT totals $6 million, including a $1.3 million investment from the County of Dufferin to support infrastructure development in communities in East Garafraxa, Mulmur, Amaranth, and Melancthon.

In total the County will receive approximately $10.4 million in broadband upgrades, including nearly $4.4 million in contributions from internet service providers.

SWIFT has signed an agreement with North Frontenac Telephone Corporation Limited to deploy fibre cabling along more that 40 kilometres of under-served roads in the communities of Laurel and Camlla.

The County has contributed an additional $1.3 million to support the project that will bring high-speed internet service to approximately 460 premises by early 2022.

“SWIFT continues to make steady progress in delivering on its commitment to expand network coverage throughout southwestern Ontario,” said SWIFT executive director, Barry Field. “From education to health care to attracting next generation jobs, broadband access is essential. With today’s announcement, more than $10.4 million broadband upgrades is being invested into Dufferin county to expand high-speed service to support business growth and help communities thrive.”

Several service providers are involve in this project.

Cogeco Connexion Inc. will receive funding to deploy fibre-cabling along more than 13 kilometres of underserviced roads in the communities of Marsville, Orton, Prices Corner, and Craigsholme.

Bell Canada will install an all-fibre network to service approximately 17 kilometres of roadway in Mansfield.

Rogers Communications will receive funding to bring broadband and high-speed internet to 108 homes in the community of Garafraxa Woods. This is expected to deliver service to the community by fall 2021.

This is the second project that Rogers has been awarded to deliver its next-generation technology to more Ontarians. In January 2020, Rogers and SWIFT announced a joint investment of $7.6 million to build fibre optic cable network to connect 71 kilometers of underserved roads, servicing more than 2,100 homes and businesses in Norfolk County.

“I am very pleased to tell our residents that SWIFT construction is getting underway in five areas of Dufferin County” says Dufferin County Warden, Darren White. “Over the past six months, as more people work and learn from home, the need for high speed, reliable internet has only been heightened and these five projects are an excellent step towards addressing this problem.”

The current COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many people working from home.

The introduction of high-speed internet in more rural areas will help many people achieve a working environment from their home.

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