Residents can now explore SWIFT’s easy-to-use mapping tool to confirm Internet service availability at their home, work, farms and places of business.
SWIFT has developed in partnership with the R2B2 project an interactive map indicating where there is access to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) Universal Service Objective (USO) of 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload (50/10) in Southwestern Ontario, Caledon and Niagara region.
“Broadband has fundamentally changed the way we do business, learn and grow our communities. Having reliable access to Internet is now vital in today’s digital economy. For Ontario to continue to prosper in a global market our communities need to be connected” said SWIFT CEO, Geoff Hogan. “This tool will continue to help us identify gaps and improve connectivity in underserved areas within SWIFT’s project region.”
To further validate the accuracy of the information provided within the mapping tool, SWIFT relies on community feedback and strongly encourages questions and recommendations for coverage area changes.
“We’ve identified that there are major gaps in the availably of broadband data when it comes to determining underserved communities, homes, businesses and farms within rural regions,” says University of Guelph’s Dr. Helen Hambly (Project Lead for the Regional and Rural Broadband Project). “We need better data, enhanced reporting and maps that accurately illustrate broadband coverage. We can’t simply underestimate the magnitude of the problem and assume that because one household or business is served the entire surrounding area is connected.”
SWIFT’s interactive map was developed based on information received from Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) in the region. The highlighted areas have been identified as “served”, meeting the CRTC’s service objective of 50/10.
“By collaborating with local service providers and enabling residents to validate and verify the available data, our map will provide an accurate illustration of broadband coverage in the region. This information will be used to inform policymakers about the efficient use of public dollars on rural broadband investment to enhance the social economic surplus in the region”, states Dr. Hambly.