The Simcoe County RFP was released March 9, 2020. Contracts will be awarded, and service provider agreements will be put in place shortly after the RFP closes on September 11, 2020.

Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) is proud to announce that it has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for up to $28 million to provide fast, reliable internet service to many more residents living Simcoe County. The RFP is part of SWIFT’s Southwestern Ontario broadband expansion plan. 

“Broadband has now become a necessary utility as essential activities such as work, education, shopping and accessing public services continue to move online,” says David Mayberry, SWIFT Board Chair. “Our current reality has emphasized, more so than ever, the importance and need for greater connectivity across our region. That is why SWIFT, in partnership with the Government of Ontario and Canada, along with our municipal partners are pleased to announce that access to high-speed internet will soon be a reality for many more residents living in Simcoe County.”

“The County of Simcoe is dedicated to exploring and enhancing opportunities for economic development within our unique mix of rural and urban communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how important it is for equitable and reliable access to broadband services. We are pleased to partner with SWIFT to improve equitable access to high-speed broadband services throughout Simcoe County and create further social, educational and commercial opportunities for more residents, businesses and visitors. Our region is growing, and we look forward to placing shovels in the ground on this important project, says Simcoe County Warden George Cornell. 

Prequalified service providers have until September 11, 2020 to submit network designs and proposals to address broadband service gaps in eligible funding areas throughout the County.

To identify high-quality projects, SWIFT will evaluate all eligible proposals against a predefined assessment criteria. When evaluating and selecting projects for funding, SWIFT takes into consideration the following: ability to provide 50 Mbps down, 10 Mbps up (50/10) service or greater, number of premises passed, future scalability of the network, and service provider contribution proportion, among other project selection factors.

Selected and approved projects will be announced once SWIFT has completed its evaluation assessment, negotiated contracts and awarded funding to projects that score the highest based on the evaluation process.

“SWIFT, through its public and private partnerships, is advancing the expansion of high-speed networks across our region to close internet service gaps,” says Barry Field, Executive Director, SWIFT. “In the race to increase connectivity in our unserved and underserved communities, today’s announcement represents a significant step in bringing high-speed internet to many more residents living in Southwestern Ontario.”

Operating on a cost sharing basis, SWIFT will leverage federal and provincial funding to subsidize up to a maximum of 2/3 of the eligible costs for awarded projects to deliver reliable internet to more people living in Simcoe County.

Quick Facts:  

  • SWIFT is currently overseeing a $209 million Southwestern Ontario broadband expansion plan that will connect 22% of the region’s underserved premises over the next 3 years.

  • As part of its expansion plan, SWIFT has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for up to $28 million to expand broadband infrastructure in Simcoe County. Contracts will be awarded and service provider agreements will be put in place shortly after the RFP closes on September 11, 2020.

  • The Government of Ontario and Canada have committed up to $63.7 million each to support SWIFT. The project also leverages additional funding from municipal partners and private sector investors.

About
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.

The project was approved for funding 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 improve access to broadband services across the region.

Media Contact:
Melissa O’Brien
melissa.obrien@swiftruralbroadband.ca
Manager, Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology
226.256.1640

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