(Essex, ON) May 7 , 2021 – SWIFT is pleased to announce construction is now underway to improve broadband service in Essex County as TekSavvy Solutions breaks ground in the community of Lighthouse Cove.
“This is a great day for the residents of Lighthouse Cove and the beginning of great things for thousands of residents of Essex County, who will soon have access to high-speed internet and the tremendous opportunities it creates for prosperity, education, innovation and continued economic growth,” said Gary McNamara, Essex County Warden and SWIFT Board Chair. “This pandemic has shown us that connectivity is not a luxury but an essential service and SWIFT deserves credit for moving so quickly to bring fast and reliable internet to residents and businesses in southwestern Ontario, from the farm field to the factory floor.”
SWIFT, in partnership with the federal and provincial governments and private sector investors, recently announced a combined investment of $19 million to deliver high-speed internet to more than 5,170 underserved homes and businesses within Essex County.
Construction has now begun on the first project to bring better broadband service to 540 homes and businesses in the community of Lighthouse Cove. The $2.1 million project is expected to be completed, with service fully available by early 2022.
“The construction of broadband infrastructure in Essex County will help businesses to expand, create new job opportunities and connect more people to the services and information they need,” said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This is an important step forward in our plan to expand broadband connectivity to our rural and remote areas.”
“It’s great to see shovels now in the ground in Essex County and we are proud to be partnering with TekSavvy Solutions in the expansion of broadband service in the community of Lighthouse Cove,” said Barry Field, Executive Director, SWIFT. “This is the first of the five awarded SWIFT projects within Essex County to start construction. Over the upcoming weeks we anticipate that the awarded service providers will continue to break ground in the remaining project areas throughout the municipality to bring greater connectivity to the region.”
“With the announcement that construction on the fibre network has commenced, TekSavvy, in partnership with SWIFT, is working hard to bring the benefits of high-speed internet service to 1,500 residents and businesses in the Town of Lakeshore, says Charlie Burns, CTO at TekSavvy. “This is another important project as TekSavvy continues to make significant investments in fibre and wireless LTE network infrastructure for rural and under-served communities across southwestern Ontario”.
Today’s announcement is part of SWIFT’s broadband expansion plan that aims to bring high-speed internet access to more than 50,000 underserved homes and businesses across Southwestern Ontario.
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.
The project was approved for funding 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 improve access to broadband services across the region.
Manager, Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology