• SWIFT awards $7.5 million in contracts to support six fibre-to-the-home projects in Middlesex County.
  • More than 1,117 households and businesses to see improvements in broadband service.
  • An additional funding announcement and greater broadband expansion plans are expected for Middlesex County pending final negotiations and approvals.

(Middlesex, ON) March 15, 2021 – Today Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) announced it has awarded contracts to expand high-speed fibre-optic broadband service to more than 1,117 households and businesses throughout Middlesex County.

“In response to the growing need for improved broadband service throughout Southwestern Ontario I’m proud to say that more than 1,117 households and businesses, approximately 2,750 residents, will soon have access to fast, reliable high-speed internet in Middlesex County,” said David Mayberry, SWIFT Board Chair. “In addition to today’s announcement, further funding announcements are anticipated for Middlesex County as an additional project is in its final stages of approval.”

“This is great news for Middlesex County as improved access to reliable and affordable broadband internet is essential for our residents, businesses, and visitors. We appreciate the support of the SWIFT initiative from our Federal and Provincial partners. Access to high-speed internet services will allow for residents and businesses across the County to experience the social and economic benefits of this important infrastructure,” said Middlesex Warden Cathy Burghardt-Jesson.

SWIFT has awarded $4.3 million in federal and provincial funding to service 109 kilometres of underserved roadway throughout Middlesex County. The total value of the newly announced projects is $7.5 million, including $3.2 million in contributions from the internet service providers.

    •  Xplornet Communications has been awarded funding to service more than 36 kilometres of underserved roadway within the Municipality of Thames Centre to bring high-speed internet access to 456 households and businesses. Construction of the $2.6 million fibre-to-the-home solution is expected to be completed with service available by mid 2022.
    • SWIFT has signed an agreement with Start.ca to deploy fibre cabling along more than 21 kilometres of underserved roadway within the Municipality of Thames Centre to deliver high-speed internet to 237 businesses and homes. Construction of the $1.7 million fibre-to-the-home solution is expected to be completed with service available by early 2022.
    • Execulink Telecom has been awarded funding to support two fibre-to-the-home projects. The newly awarded projects will collectively service 24 kilometres of underserved roadway to bring high-speed internet to 235 homes and businesses throughout the Townships of Adelaide-Metcalfe and Strathroy-Caradoc and within the Municipality of Middlesex Centre. The projects represent a collective total investment of approximately $1.1 million and will be completed with service available by mid 2023.
    • North Frontenac Telephone Company (NFTC) will receive funding to deploy fibre-optic cabling along more than 16 kilometres of underserviced roadway within the Municipality of Southwest Middlesex. The $1.5 million fibre-to-the-home network will deliver high-speed connectivity to 75 households and businesses by early 2022.
    • Quadro Communications was awarded a contract to deploy fibre-optic cabling along 12 kilometres of underserviced roadway within the municipality of Middlesex Centre. The $547,000 fibre-to-the-home solution will deliver high-speed connectivity to 114 households and businesses by late 2022. In addition to the contracts announced today, further funding announcements and greater broadband expansion is anticipated for Middlesex County pending final negotiations and approvals.

“Today’s $7.5 million broadband investment is the first of the rollout of funding announcements for Middlesex County,” said Barry Field, Executive Director, SWIFT. “Access to broadband service is essential and many residents are eager to find out if, and when, high-speed internet will be available to them in their area. SWIFT has conditionally approved an additional project that would bring greater connectivity to the municipality and is expecting to finalize the pending contract in the near future.”

The newly announced projects in Middlesex County 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.

Quotes:

“Xplornet is Canada’s leading rural-focused internet provider, and we’re ready to deploy a next-generation fibre network in Middlesex County with SWIFT’s support. We can’t wait to deliver the fastest speeds and unlimited data through our Xplornet fibre-to-the-home network to rural households. This is a big step forward for connectivity in southwestern Ontario.”
– Johanne Senécal, VP, Government and Public Affairs, Xplornet Communications Inc.

“We are proud and excited to expand our partnership with SWIFT. Our goal is to provide access to fast and reliable Internet in the often underserviced communities we call home. We look forward to creating a lasting, positive impact with our Fibre initiative in Middlesex County.”
– Ian Stevens, President and CEO of Execulink Telecom

“As a local London company, Start.ca is excited to have been awarded the ability to expand our fibre infrastructure to the residents of Eastern Middlesex County. This partnership affords us the ability to build on our existing investments, and accelerate the goal of making high-speed Internet service a reality in rural areas. We are grateful for the trust SWIFT has put in us to execute this important project. Now more than ever, connectivity for Canadians has proven to be essential, and we are excited to get to work and make a difference in bridging the digital divide for these communities.”
– Peter Rocca, Preseident & CEO Start.ca

“Quadro is pleased to have been awarded this funding from SWIFT, in the County of Middlesex, for our Ballymote project in the Township of Middlesex Centre. It has become imperative that all communities have access to reliable high-speed internet as evidenced by the need for internet services in today’s world. This project when completed will provide the services needed for today and will future proof these customers as requirements change. Quadro is dedicated to continuing our mission by enriching our customers experience with personal service and innovative products.”
– John H. DeHeer, General Manager, Quadro Communications

“NFTC is pleased to continue it’s investment in Middlesex County which started over two years ago. This build will add an additional 20 km of fibre optic networks within the County. Reliable high-speed connectivity has become critically important to communities. Fibre optic networks allow residents the ability to work from home, participate in remote learning and leverage new technologies for smart homes and security monitoring. Through the course of the pandemic we have experienced significant increases in the demand for high speed internet. NFTC’s fibre optic networks provide the connectivity that residents require now as well as ensuring that network capacities can be efficiently scaled to accommodate the ever increasing demand for internet bandwidth in the future. This scalability is essential for communities to be able to continue to grow in the modern economy. For well over sixty years, NFTC has provided telecommunication services to rural Ontario subscribers. We are proud to partner with SWIFT and Middlesex County to continue our commitment to bringing high speed broadband and telecommunication services to rural Ontario.”
– Grant Roughley, Vice President, North Frontenac Telephone Company

Additional Information:
Middlesex County Project Overview

About SWIFT
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.

Media Contact:
Melissa O’Brien
[email protected]oadband.ca
Manager, Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology
226.256.1640