(Essex County, ON) October 7, 2022 – Today SWIFT announced fast reliable internet connectivity will soon be available to more homes and businesses in Essex County, as the regional broadband program marks the start of construction on a high-speed fibre-optic project that will expand service to an additional 484 underserved homes and businesses in Marentette Beach.
“SWIFT continues to move forward with its broadband expansion plans in Essex County and across Southwestern Ontario,” said Barry Field, Executive Director, SWIFT. “Today’s announcement is yet another important step in the right direction to ensuring equitable access to high-speed internet service throughout our region.”
Through the SWIFT initiative, Cogeco Connexion was awarded funding to service rural areas southeast of Leamington and north of Point Pelee National Park. The network’s main fibre route will run along parts of Point Pelee Drive, Mersea Road 12, Mersea Roads B, D and E, Marentette Beach and E Beach Road.
“Our government is delivering on its commitment to increase access to high-speed internet throughout rural Ontario,” 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.”
“We are excited that residents and businesses in these rural areas of Leamington are getting reliable high-speed internet service,” said Essex County Warden and SWIFT Board Chair Gary McNamara. “The completion of this project will close another gap and make Essex County an even better place to live, work and play.”
Construction of the high-speed network began earlier this year and is forecasted to be complete with service fully available to all locations within the network’s footprint by December 2022.
Residents and businesses in Essex County are now one step closer to being connected to our powerful, locally served high-speed Internet. We are proud to partner with SWIFT to continue contributing to local economies while reducing the digital divide between large city centres and smaller communities” said Matt Wickham, Vice President and General Manager, Cogeco.
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 $20.2 million to bring high-speed internet service to 5,386 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, including 47 projects in the construction phase and 47 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