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(Essex County, ON) December 15, 2023 – SWIFT is pleased to announce the successful completion of two high-speed internet projects in Essex County. Collectively, the projects have extended fibre-optic connectivity to 3,587 previously underserved homes and businesses, providing reliable high-speed internet to areas with limited connectivity.

As part of SWIFT’s Southwestern Ontario broadband expansion plan, Cogeco was granted funding to complete the construction of the buildout of fibre-optic infrastructure in the communities of Edgars, Gesto, Marshfield, Pleasant Valley, Arner, East Harrow, Ambassador Beach, Levergood Beach, Belcreft Beach, Comet, Seymour Beach, Lypps Beach, Mount Carmel, Wigle, Blytheswood, Oakland and Staples. This expansion of high-speed internet services aims to alleviate the connectivity gap within these communities, ensuring residents have access to fast, reliable internet services.

“The high-speed internet projects mark a significant step forward in our mission to continue to bridge the digital divide in Southwestern Ontario,” said Barry Field, Executive Director, SWIFT. “Working with Cogeco, we are proud to bring essential connectivity to over 3,580 homes and businesses in Essex County.”

The newly installed infrastructure is expected to have a lasting positive impact on the communities and region, fostering economic growth and providing residents with increased access to online resources and opportunities.

“Ontario continues to deliver on its commitment to expand access to high-speed internet to communities across the province,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “By installing new broadband infrastructure in Essex County, we’re building Ontario and strengthening rural communities. This investment is helping people stay in touch with loved ones, allowing families to connect with online services, and making it easier for businesses to reach potential customers.”

“Bringing high-speed internet to underserved areas in Essex County is an investment that will bring new opportunities, allow families to connect, help students finish their homework, and create potential for growth,” said Anthony Leardi, MPP for Essex. “I am very pleased our government is expanding high-speed internet throughout rural Ontario.”

“Essex County is preparing for unprecedented growth by ensuring residents and businesses have the services they need to thrive. The high-speed internet projects recently completed by SWIFT will help open up opportunities and make life better in these previously underserviced communities,” said Hilda MacDonald, Warden, County of Essex.

Residents in the SWIFT-funded project areas can now reach out to Cogeco to subscribe to the newly available high-speed service and receive fibre-optic connectivity to their homes and businesses.

To learn more about Cogeco’s high-speed internet services, please visit or call 1.866.261.4447.

“More than 3,500 residents and businesses in the County of Essex will enjoy our fibre-powered network for high-speed Internet and local programming on YourTV, thanks to our partnership with SWIFT. Our local teams laid approximately 190 km of fibre for 2 expansion projects across 17 communities in the County. It’s not just about internet – it’s about bringing people together. We’re thrilled to connect them to their friends, families, coworkers, clients, and community. This is another step to help bridge the digital divide, ensuring all Ontarians are connected no matter where they call home,” said Frédéric Perron, President, Cogeco.

The completion of these projects is part of SWIFT’s $270 million regional broadband expansion plan, which aims to provide high-speed internet access to more than 64,000 homes and businesses throughout Southwestern Ontario.

For additional information about SWIFT and its broadband expansion plans, please visit

Quick Facts:

  • SWIFT in partnership with the federal and provincial governments and private sector investors has committed a combined investment of $20.1 million to bring high-speed internet service to 5,502 underserved homes and businesses in Essex County.
  • In total, SWIFT has awarded 97 contracts to support the expansion of broadband infrastructure throughout Southwestern Ontario to bring over 64,000 homes and businesses across the region access to high-speed internet service. Local projects are progressing, with 9 currently remaining in the construction phase and 88 successfully 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.

Media Contact:

Melissa O’Brien
[email protected]
Manager, Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology