SWIFT launches a $12.1M targeted project focused on underserved homes and businesses
- In partnership with the Government of Ontario and Canada, SWIFT is launching a targeted broadband project in Wellington County to improve high-speed internet.
- SWIFT represents a significant change in the way we think about and fund investment in broadband. The goal of the targeted project is to leverage and apply the learnings to SWIFT’s full-scale project plan across Southwestern Ontario, Niagara and Caledon.
- The phased approach ensures that public investment is spent wisely and will assist in the future delivery of SWIFT’s larger initiative.
Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology Inc. (SWIFT), a regional broadband initiative, in partnership with the Government of Ontario and Canada is proud to announce the launch of a targeted broadband project dedicated to improving internet connectivity to homes and businesses in Wellington County.
“Broadband connectivity is an essential piece of community infrastructure that is necessary to enhance economic and social development,” says SWIFT Board Chair David Mayberry. “Today’s announcement is part of a phased approached to the future roll-out of SWIFT’s larger deployment plans, as key learnings from the targeted project will assist in ensuring maximum success throughout the ongoing initiative.”
The targeted project will focus on underserved areas within the county that do not meet the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications (CRTC) universal service objective of 50 Mbps download/10 Mbps upload (50/10) and are not currently expected to see any commercial roll-out plans from service providers in the near future.
SWIFT’s innovative approach to funding open access broadband networks will aim to connect business facilities, public buildings and residential homes in underserved areas within the project region.
SWIFT will issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for Wellington County’s project later this year. During this phase of the project, SWIFT’s prequalified Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) will bid on the project and will propose the most efficient and effective network designs to address connectivity challenges within the local area.
Construction of the network will commence once the procurement process has been completed and successful proponents have been selected.
“Access to fast, unlimited and reliable broadband is becoming a vital necessity for communities, businesses and families,” says Mayberry. “In partnership with the government we are committed to growing Southwestern Ontario’s future and will continue to address the region’s connectivity challenges to ensure that families and individuals have greater access to online goods and services.”
SWIFT’s application for funding was approved under Canada-Ontario Small Communities Fund (SCF), a joint federal and provincial infrastructure funding program. As part of the ongoing SCF funding process, SWIFT and the province of Ontario will work collaboratively to validate implementation details throughout the targeted project, and to finalize a funding agreement that would enable SWIFT to continue to subsidize additional network construction throughout Southwestern Ontario, Caledon and the Niagara Region.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
About the SWIFT Initiative
Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology Inc. (SWIFT) is a non-profit regional broadband project initiated by the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus to subsidize the construction of an open-access, high-speed broadband network in Southwestern Ontario, Caledon and the Niagara Region. The project’s approach strives towards the overarching goals of narrowing the digital divide and making small-town Ontario more competitive in the information economy.
For more information about SWIFT, please contact: