(Grey-Bruce, ON) April 14 , 2021 – SWIFT announced today that service providers EH!tel Networks and GBTEL have begun construction to bring high-speed internet access to more than 1,200 underserved homes and businesses within the counties of Grey and Bruce.
“In total, SWIFT has awarded more than $33 million in contracts to collectively bring high-speed internet to nearly 9,200 homes and businesses across the counties of Grey and Bruce. Today’s announcement marks the beginning of construction for 3 of the 15 SWIFT funded projects that are slated to improve internet service throughout the two counties,” said Barry Field, Executive Director, SWIFT. “SWIFT is proud to partner with EH!tel Networks and GBTEL on these very important projects, as we continue to work to expand broadband access throughout Southwestern Ontario. It’s great to see shovels in the ground and projects continuing to move forward, despite COVID-19.”
EH!tel Networks has started construction in the municipality of West Grey to improve access to high-speed internet for more than 890 households and businesses within the communities of Habermehl, Crawford, Mulock, Allan Park and Vickers. The $3.8 million hybrid project which will use a combination of both fibre and wireless technologies to significantly expand broadband access within Grey County is expected to be completed with services fully available by August 2021.
Work is also underway in Grey County in the municipality of Meaford, as GBTEL has begun construction of a new fibre-to-the-home network in the community of Bognor. The $177,000 fibre-to-the-home solution will bring high-speed connectivity to more than 60 households and businesses by December 2022.
“With these new projects breaking ground in Grey, SWIFT is connecting more residents and businesses with the fast, reliable high speed service options they need for work, education and everyday basic needs. Each project helps close our broadband gap and it’s incredibly rewarding to see the results of years of careful planning, advocacy and financial investments,” said Grey County Warden Selwyn ‘Buck’ Hicks.
GBTEL has also started construction of new broadband infrastructure in Bruce County to improve internet access in the municipality of South Bruce. The $1.5 million fibre-to-the-home network is expected to bring service to more than 250 homes and businesses within the communities of Tolmie and Skipness by December 2022.
“I am proud of the progress to bring fast and reliable internet access to more families and businesses in Bruce County, allowing our communities to attract new development, strengthen our local economy and give families access to such an essential service,” said Bruce County Warden Janice Jackson.
Today’s announcement is 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.
“SWIFT has been instrumental in supporting us with our drive to bring better internet service to key parts of Grey-Bruce. Without direct support from SWIFT, large areas of our network would simply not be moving ahead with better internet. They are directly contributing to better and more jobs and economic well-being in Grey-Bruce.”
– Richard Gils, President, GBTEL
- SWIFT, in partnership with the federal and provincial governments and private sector investors, previously announced a combined investment of $33.2 million to deliver high-speed internet to 9,180 underserved homes and businesses within the counties of Grey and Bruce.
As previously announced, work is also underway with in Grey County in the Township of Southgate and the municipality of West Grey to bring better broadband services to more than 1,000 household and businesses within the communities of Holstein, Varney, Orchardville, Yeovil, Dromore, Tartan and Thistle by July 2021.
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.
Manager, Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology