(Essex County, ON) November 16, 2022 – SWIFT today announced construction of high-speed broadband infrastructure has begun in Essex County to bring fibre-to-the-home internet service to more than 3,400 homes and businesses.
“Increasing access to high-speed internet is pivotal to supporting our rural economies and small-town communities,” said Barry Field, Executive Director, SWIFT. “With a number of SWIFT funded fibre-optic projects already rolling-out across Essex County, we are proud to partner with Cogeco Connexion to bring greater connectivity to an additional 3,400 rural homes and businesses throughout our project’s region.”
“Providing reliable internet access is especially important for rural communities to prosper in our increasingly digital world,” said Irek Kusmierczyk, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion and Member of Parliament for Windsor—Tecumseh, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “Today’s important announcement will ensure that thousands of homes, businesses, and farms in Essex County can connect to essential online services and enjoy the additional economic opportunities made available through high-speed internet.”
“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. “Building new broadband infrastructure in Essex County will help build Ontario and strengthen rural communities by 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.”
In partnership with SWIFT, Cogeco Connexion has broken ground on a $5.7 million fibre-optic broadband project to bring improved internet connectivity to many more residents located within the Municipality of Leamington and throughout the Town of Kingsville. Servicing more than 100 kilometres of roadway with fibre-optic cabling, the high-speed network will provide 1,812 homes and businesses within the communities of Mount Carmel, Wigle, Blytheswood, Oakland and Staples with access to fast reliable broadband service.
Cogeco Connexion has also begun construction on a $7 million fibre-to-the-home network to service more than 85 kilometres of roadway with fibre-optic cabling throughout the Town of Essex. Once complete the newly installed network will bring improved high-speed internet access to 1,600 homes and businesses in the communities of Edgars, Gesto, Marshfield, Pleasant Valley, Arner, East Harrow, Ambassador Beach, Levergood Beach, Belcreft Beach, Comet, Seymour Beach and Lypps Beach.
“This is a huge step forward and long overdue for these vibrant communities in Leamington, Kingsville and Essex,” said Essex County Warden and SWIFT Board Chair Gary McNamara. “High-speed internet access will put businesses on a level playing field with bigger centres, and it will ensure residents have reliable access to online services.”
“High-speed Internet access is crucial in today’s society for work, school, social, and entertainment needs. That’s why we are proud to partner with SWIFT to expand our powerful network to over 3,400 residents and businesses in Essex County. Our local teams are currently working to install approximately 190km of our latest fibre-optic technology, which will deliver download speeds of up to 1 Gig upon completion” said Matt Wickham, Vice President and General Manager, Customer Experience and B2B, Cogeco.
Today’s announcement is part of SWIFT’s $268 million regional broadband expansion plan that will bring high-speed internet access 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 $20.2 million to bring high-speed internet service to 5,380 underserved homes and businesses throughout Essex County.
- 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 43 projects in the construction phase and 53 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