(Bruce County, ON) September 2, 2022 – SWIFT is pleased to announce construction has begun in Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation to expand high-speed fibre-optic internet service to 297 underserved homes and businesses within the community.
”Increasing access to high-speed internet is pivotal to supporting economic growth, creating new jobs and boosting social opportunities in communities,” said Barry Field, Executive Director, SWIFT. “With work now underway to bring greater high-speed fibre-optic connectivity to the residents and business owners in Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, SWIFT is proud to partner with GBTEL and our community partners as today’s announcement is yet another important step in the right direction to ensuring equitable access to high-speed internet service throughout our region.”
As part of SWIFT’s Southwestern Ontario broadband expansion plan, GBTEL was awarded funding to service nearly 30 kilometres of underserved roadways within the First Nation territory.
“I am proud our government continues to deliver on our commitment to expand access to high-speed internet to rural Ontario and Indigenous communities across the province,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Projects like this on the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, are crucial to building stronger communities, helping families stay in touch, and provide access to essential services.”
“Access to reliable, affordable, fast internet services is essential in building stronger communities, businesses, and economies,” said Bruce County Warden Janice Jackson. “This infrastructure expansion in Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation strengthens the entire region.”
Construction of the high-speed fibre-optic project is forecasted to be complete with service fully available to all locations within the network’s footprint by June 2023.
“GBTEL is thrilled to be working with the Chippewas of Nawash and SWIFT to bring this First Nation’s Community a leading-edge, fiber access solution. This is a collaborative project with significant work being provided by GBTEL, SWIFT and the community leaders of the Chippewas of Nawash. This project is an exceptional example of how a First Nation’s community can work with a public-private partnership to radically enhance the telecommunications services absolutely essential to the growth of a First Nation’s rural community. We thank all of our partners for their support and professionalism and look forward to completing this project,” said Richard Gils, President, GBTEL.
Today’s announcement is part of SWIFT’s $268 million regional broadband expansion plan that will bring high-speed internet service to more than 63,000 homes and businesses throughout Southwestern Ontario.
For additional information on SWIFT funded projects, please visit: www.swiftruralbroadband.ca/projects
- SWIFT, in partnership with the federal and provincial governments and private sector investors, has committed a combined investment of $16.3 million to bring high-speed internet service to 5,226 underserved homes and businesses throughout Bruce County and within Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.
- In total, SWIFT has awarded 97 contracts to support the expansion of broadband infrastructure throughout Southwestern Ontario to bring more than 63,000 homes and businesses across the region improved access to high-speed internet. Local projects are underway, with 52 projects in the construction phase and 42 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