(Elgin County, ON) November 1, 2023 – SWIFT is pleased to announce the successful completion of three high-speed broadband projects in Elgin County. These projects have significantly enhanced connectivity for residents and businesses in the municipalities of Bayham, West Elgin, Dutton Dunwich, and Southwold. As a result, 1,567 homes and businesses that were previously underserved now have access to fast, reliable internet service.
“With the completion of these Elgin County projects, not only are we closing the digital gaps within our region, but we’re also building stronger and more connected communities that will drive economic growth and create better opportunities for residents,” said Barry Field, Executive Director, SWIFT. “We’d like to extend our gratitude to our partners for their invaluable contributions to the success of these projects, recognizing the positive long-term impacts the newly established infrastructure will offer these communities for years to come.”
As part of SWIFT’s Southwestern Ontario broadband expansion plan, North Frontenac Telephone Corporation (NFTC) completed the construction of a high-speed network, bringing improved internet access to 910 homes and businesses throughout the municipalities of West Elgin and Dutton Dunwich. Through a combination of both fibre and wireless technologies, the high-speed project has significantly expanded broadband access within the communities of Tyrconnell, Duttona Beach, New Glasgow, Churchville and Port Glasgow.
“Providing reliable internet access is especially important for rural communities to prosper in our increasingly digital world,” said Peter Fragiskatos, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, and Member of Parliament for London North Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities. “Today’s announcement marks another milestone for homes, businesses, and farms in Elgin County that can now connect to essential online services and enjoy the additional economic opportunities made available through high-speed internet.”
Awarded service provider, EH!tel Networks has also completed construction of a 67-Kilometre fibre-to-the-home network to enhance internet service within the municipalities of Southwold and Dutton Dunwich. The newly installed network is now providing 390 previously underserved homes and businesses within the communities of Iona, Iona Station, Lawrence Station and Southwold with access to seamless high-speed connectivity.
“Ontario continues to deliver on its commitment to expand access to high-speed internet to communities across the province,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “By building new broadband infrastructure in Elgin County, we’re helping to build Ontario and strengthen rural communities. This investment is helping people stay in touch with loved ones, enabling them to access the supports they need while providing a much-needed boost to the local economy.”
“By prioritizing access to highspeed internet in rural communities throughout Elgin-Middlesex-London, our government is paving the way for additional growth and economic prosperity,” said Rob Flack, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London. “Broadband infrastructure is another welcome investment in our riding that will greatly benefit rural residents with increased connectivity.”
In addition, Execulink Telecom has completed construction of a 24-kilometre fibre-to-the-home network in the municipality of Bayham to bring high-speed connectivity to 267 households and businesses located in the communities of Corinth and North Hall.
“The completion of three high-speed broadband projects across eleven towns and villages throughout Elgin County marks a momentous achievement for our rural communities,” declared Elgin County Warden Ed Ketchabaw. “This initiative exemplifies our unwavering dedication to bridging the digital divide and ensuring that residents and businesses in the Municipality of West Elgin, Municipality of Dutton Dunwich, Township of Southwold, and the Municipality of Bayham are equipped with the essential resources for our hyper-connected digital world. The integration of 1,567 previously underserved homes and businesses is not merely a statistic; it’s a tangible sign of progress. This accomplishment highlights Elgin County Council’s commitment to forging partnerships with organizations, such as SWIFT, that enhance the quality of life and deliver a much-needed economic stimulus to our rural communities.”
Residents located in the SWIFT-funded project areas can now contact the service providers to subscribe to the newly available high-speed service and schedule an installation.
The completion of these projects is part of SWIFT’s $270 million regional broadband expansion plan, which aims to provide high-speed internet access to nearly 64,000 homes and businesses throughout Southwestern Ontario.
For additional information about SWIFT and its broadband expansion plans, please visit www.swiftruralbroadband.ca.
SWIFT in partnership with the federal and provincial governments and private sector investors has committed a combined investment of $6.8 million to bring high-speed internet service to 1,567 underserved homes and businesses in the County of Elgin.
In total, SWIFT has awarded 97 contracts to support the expansion of broadband infrastructure throughout Southwestern Ontario to bring over 64,000 homes and businesses across the region access to high-speed internet service. Local projects are underway, with 9 projects in the construction phase and 88 projects completed.
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 improve access to broadband services across the region.
Manager, Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology