- More than 3,900 households and businesses to see improvements in broadband internet services in the municipalities of Meaford and West Grey and throughout the Townships of Chatsworth, Georgian Bluffs and Southgate.
- The newly announced projects will collectively service more than 230 kilometres of underserved roads to deliver high-speed connectivity to many more residents living in Grey County.
(Grey County, ON) November 17, 2020 – Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) today announced it has awarded contracts to expand high-speed broadband services to 3,960 households and businesses across 25 communities in Grey County.
“SWIFT is leading the way in connectivity across Southwestern Ontario and is now rolling out high-speed infrastructure projects throughout the region to bring fast, reliable internet services to more homes and businesses in partnership with our community leaders and local service providers,” said David Mayberry, SWIFT Board Chair. “The broadband investments announced today will have long-term positive impacts in Grey County and will drive economic growth throughout the region.”
SWIFT has awarded over $10.6 million in federal and provincial funding to improve high-speed internet in the municipalities of Meaford and West Grey and throughout the Townships of Chatsworth, Georgian Bluffs and Southgate. In total Grey County will receive $16.9 million in broadband upgrades, including more than $6.2 million in contributions from the internet service providers.
“Now more than ever, access to high speed internet is essential as Grey County residents are spending more time online working, learning and doing business,” said Grey County Warden Paul McQueen. “Access to reliable high-speed internet is vital to our future. It’s encouraging to know SWIFT projects will soon be underway, expanding this important infrastructure in Grey County.”
SWIFT has signed an agreement with EH!tel Networks to support two hybrid project which will use a combination of both fibre and wireless technologies to significantly expand broadband access within the municipality of West Grey and throughout the Township of Southgate. The projects represent a collective total investment of $8.1 million and will deploy fibre cabling along 110 kilometres of underserved roadway to deliver improved high-speed services to 1,904 homes and business by mid-2021.
“We are very excited and proud to have been awarded these projects in our own backyard – the County of Grey!” said Antonius Peeters, President and CEO, EH!tel Networks. “With the funding received from the federal and provincial government, supported through SWIFT, we are able to provide more competitive, faster and reliable broadband to our existing subscribers, and to the many premises awaiting broadband options. Since COVID, rural networks have been strained and overloaded. These projects will provide relief immediately and for the years to come.”
Xplornet Communications Inc. has been awarded funding to support three fibre-to-the-home projects. The newly awarded projects will collectively service 101 kilometres of underserved roadway to bring high-speed internet to 1,858 homes and businesses within the municipalities of Meaford, West Grey and throughout the Townships of Chatsworth and Georgian Bluffs. The projects represent a collective total investment of $7.7 million and will be completed with service available by mid-2022.
“Xplornet is Canada’s leading rural-focused Internet provider. As we deploy our next-generation networks across southwestern Ontario, we’re pleased to be working with SWIFT to construct cutting-edge fibre-to-the-home networks in Grey County. Rural residents can look forward to the fastest speeds and unlimited data delivered by an Xplornet fibre network – coming soon!” said Johanne Senécal, VP, Government and Public Affairs, Xplornet Communications Inc.
Wightman Telecom will receive funding to deploy fibre-optic cabling along 15 kilometres of underserviced roads in the municipality of West Grey. The $942,000 fibre-to-the-home network will deliver high-speed connectivity to 134 households and businesses by mid-2022.
“Wightman is excited to join with SWIFT to bring fibre to the residents and businesses in an underserved area between Hanover and Durham in Grey County,” said Rob Figliuzzi, President and CEO, Wightman Telecom. “Wightman has been constructing fibre to serve rural residents and businesses in South Western Ontario for 12 years and we are pleased to be able to do more with funding through the SWIFT program.”
GBTEL will receive funding to deploy fibre-optic cabling along 3.9 kilometres of underserviced roads in the municipality of Meaford. The $177,000 fibre-to-the-home solution will deliver high-speed connectivity to 64 households and businesses by late-2022.
“SWIFT has been a supportive asset in our drive to improve rural broadband in Grey. Rural fibre is extremely expensive to deploy, and, without the support of SWIFT, fibre builds in rural Grey would otherwise be significantly limited,” said Richard Gils, President, GBTEL.
“Projects are now well underway in many areas across our region as SWIFT continues to make steady progress in the expansion of broadband services throughout Southwestern Ontario,” said Barry Field, Executive Director, SWIFT. “Connectivity is key to the economic success of our region and that is why we are proud to announce today more than $16.9 million in broadband upgrades for Grey County. The newly announced investments will provide high-speed internet services to approximately 9,750 residents across 25 communities by 2022 to support business growth and help communities thrive.”
Today’s newly announced projects are part of SWIFT’s $209 million broadband expansion plan that aims to bring better broadband access to approximately 50,000 underserved homes and businesses across Southwestern Ontario.
Grey County Project Overview
Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) is a non-profit regional broadband project initiated by the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus to subsidize the construction of high-speed broadband networks across Southwestern Ontario, Caledon and the Niagara Region.
The project was approved for funding up to $127.4 million under the New Building Canada Fund – Small Communities Fund (NBCF-SCF), a joint federal and provincial infrastructure funding program, and leverages additional funding from municipal partners and private sector investors to bring the total project investment to $209 million to improve access to broadband services across the region.
Manager, Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology