Government Pledges $500 Million To Expand Rural Broadband Internet— April 8, 2018
SouthWestern Integrated Fibre Technology Inc. (SWIFT) welcomes the Government of Ontario’s commitment to investing an additional $500 million, over three years, to expand broadband connectivity in rural and northern communities. This commitment included up to $71 million towards improving cellular coverage in eastern Ontario, and up to $20 million to support a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation project, which will help enable access to secure broadband services in rural and remote Ontario.
“We are pleased to see that the provincial budget has recognized broadband as an essential means by which citizens and businesses access information, offer services and create opportunities,” said Gerry Marshall, Board Chair at SWIFT. “We look forward to receiving additional details regarding this investment so that we can better understand how the government plans to address the growing Internet infrastructure needs of Ontario’s rural and remote communities.”
“We commend the provincial government’s continued commitment to invest in broadband infrastructure and, improve connectivity in rural and urban communities,” said Geoff Hogan, Chief Executive Officer at SWIFT. “We look forward to seeing the details in the upcoming provincial broadband strategy that will hopefully have a plan to give all Ontario’s residents equitable access to the internet.”
SWIFT will continue to work with all levels of government and other stakeholder groups to maximize broadband infrastructure investments until we have built a fully integrated, fibre optic network that connects Southwestern Ontario, Caledon, and the Niagara Region to endless opportunities.
About the SWIFT Initiative
SouthWestern Integrated Fibre Technology Inc. (SWIFT) is a not-for-profit, collective broadband initiative that is funding the construction of an affordable, open-access, ultra-high-speed fibre-optic regional broadband network for everyone in Southwestern Ontario, Caledon and the Niagara Region. To overcome our region’s broadband infrastructure gaps, SWIFT has developed a long-term plan to help more than 3.5 million Ontarians, or 25% of Ontario’s population, to connect and keep pace in a changing digital world. The project is leveraging $180 million in combined investments by the federal and provincial governments and over $17 million in investments by municipalities across the region. SWIFT membership is open to any community or organization in southwestern Ontario that needs connectivity to any of its locations. Members benefit from SWIFT’s significant procurement expertise, including aggregated demand, negotiated rates, and support in preparing RFPs for broadband services. As a buying group, SWIFT also ensures greater competition between telecom service providers which will lead to better services at lower prices in member communities.Page 2 of 2
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