Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) is pleased to report that construction of new broadband infrastructure to deliver high-speed internet to many more people living in Norfolk County is now underway.

Rogers Communications, in partnership with SWIFT, has officially begun to build a fibre network that will service 71 kilometres of underserved roads to improve access to high-speed internet for over 2,100 homes in and around Wilsonville, Boston, Bealton, Dundurn, Waterford, Townsend Centre, Villa Nova, Bloomsburg and several rural roads between and surrounding these communities.

The $7.6 million project is expected to be completed, with services available by Mid-2021.

“This announcement marks a major milestone for SWIFT and our partners as we continue to drive forward with our expansion plans in Norfolk County,” says SWIFT Board Chair, David Mayberry.  “In a time when access to high-speed internet is critical, we are pleased to be working with our community leaders and private sector investors to provide better broadband services that will help businesses continue to grow and communities to thrive. This is a great step in the right direction to achieving the level of connectivity that is needed in today’s digital society.”

“This is truly a big day for those who have long waited to fully take part in the wide range of activities modern digital tools have enabled,” says Norfolk Mayor Kristal Chopp. “The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us just how critical fast and reliable internet has become, especially for those now learning and working from home. That’s why we’re so excited to be one step closer to bringing this connectivity to even more Norfolk residents.”

“Today is an important milestone as we begin construction to bring our Rogers Ignite services to homes and businesses in Norfolk county,” says Eric Bruno, SVP – 5G, Content and Connected Home Products. “Fast and dependable connectivity is more important than ever and Rogers is thrilled to partner with SWIFT to bring high-speed internet to families and businesses in Norfolk County.”

“The construction of the new fibre network is a significant investment that will begin the initial steps to address broadband service gaps within Norfolk County,” says Barry Field, Executive Director, SWIFT. “The work that is being completed by Rogers Communications will benefit underserved populations within the region and is one of several projects that has been approved to expand high-speed broadband services across Southwestern Ontario.”

Today’s announcement is part of SWIFT’s $35 million pilot project that aims to bring better broadband access to approximately 10,700 underserved homes and businesses across the counties of Norfolk, Lambton and Wellington by December 2021.

Additional projects are also currently underway as a direct result of SWIFT’s pilot project, with many more anticipated to begin construction over the upcoming months.

Ground-breaking Overview:

County Project AreaInternet Service Provider  Construction Start Date
Norfolk CountyTurkey Point, Walsh, NormandaleExeculinkJanuary 15, 2020
Wellington CountyInverhaugh, Ponsonby, ArissEH!Tel Networks  April 15, 2020
Wellington CountyYatton, Creek Bank, GoldstoneThe North Frontenac Telephone Corporation Limited (NFTC)May 28, 2020

Quick Facts:

  • SWIFT, in partnership with the federal and provincial governments and private sector investors, recently announced a combined investment of $35 million to deliver high-speed internet to more than 10,700 underserved homes and businesses across the counties of Norfolk, Lambton and Wellington.
  • SWIFT is currently overseeing a $209 million Southwestern Ontario broadband expansion plan that will connect 22% of the region’s underserved premises over the next 3 years.
  • The Government of Ontario and Canada have committed up to $63.7 million each to support SWIFT. The project also leverages additional funding from municipal partners and private sector investors.

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. 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.

Media Contact:

Melissa O’Brien
melissa.obrien@swiftruralbroadband.ca
Manager, Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology
226.256.1640

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