SouthWestern Integrated Fibre Technology Inc. (SWIFT) now represents all six consortiums in their catchment area. New members include Connecting Windsor-Essex (CW-E), Chatham Kent Lambton Administrators Group (CKLAG), London & Region Global Network (LARG*net), Niagara CIO Consortium (NCC), Simcoe Community Access Network (SCAN), and the Waterloo Region Education & Public Network (WREPnet). This means that SWIFT now represents the purchasing interests of more than 2,200 sites across municipalities, First Nations communities, hospitals, schools, school boards, and other large public and private enterprises across the region.
“We are thrilled to have all six consortiums join on as members of the SWIFT initiative,” said Bev MacDougall, Interim Board Chair at SWIFT. “Every member that joins SWIFT increases our already significant collective buying power. This in turn, drives more competition between telecom service providers which will lead to better services at lower prices in member communities.”
“The opportunity to introduce a competitive environment, including lower prices, for high-speed broadband internet in rural southwestern Ontario is extremely important to the residents of our region,” said Bob Campbell, Chief Executive Officer at CW-E. “Collaborating with SWIFT and sharing the guiding principles of SWIFT has created an environment where we will all win, together.”
“We’re very excited to see so many groups joining the SWIFT initiative,” said Robert Wilks, Corporate Manager of Information Technology at the County of Lambton. “Our region needs universal access to affordable broadband sooner than later and having so many partners supporting the SWIFT project can only help to expedite the process.”
“Although SCAN has a great working relationship with our current telecom service provider, we welcome and support any opportunity that SWIFT can provide to help reduce the cost of this essential service for our communities,” said Scott Morrow, SCAN President.
“The NCC is a proud supporter of the SWIFT initiative,” said Stuart Hendrie, Chief Information Officer at Niagara Region and Dino Miele, Chief Information Officer of the District School Board of Niagara. “Our goal, as a collective group, is to ensure that every Niagara student, patient, employee, and resident has access to the connectivity they need to thrive and prosper in our ever-increasing technological world. We believe the SWIFT initiative is just what Niagara needs to achieve this goal.”
“High-speed Internet access for all Ontarians, no matter where they live, is critical,” said Geoff Hogan, Chief Executive Officer at SWIFT. “Projects like SWIFT will enable communities across Southwestern Ontario, Caledon, and the Niagara Region to have greater access to the important digital tools that facilitate advanced education, e-commerce, economic growth, employment opportunities, and health care.”
Earlier this year, SWIFT circulated a Request for Proposal (RFP), for the first phase of network construction, to their 28 pre-qualified telecom service providers. Their responses to the RFP will determine exactly when and where the fibre will be built. SWIFT anticipates selecting the Preferred Proponent(s) in mid-2018, with construction of the network commencing late 2018.
SouthWestern Integrated Fibre Technology Inc. (SWIFT) is a not-for-profit, collective broadband initiative that is funding the construction of an affordable, open-access, ultra high-speed fibre-optic regional broadband network for everyone in Southwestern Ontario, Caledon and the Niagara Region. To overcome our region’s broadband infrastructure gaps, SWIFT has developed a long-term plan to help more than 3.5 million Ontarians to connect and keep pace in a changing digital world. SWIFT membership is open to any community or organization in southwestern Ontario that needs connectivity to any of its locations. Members benefit from SWIFT’s significant procurement expertise, including aggregated demand, negotiated rates, and support in preparing RFPs for broadband services. As a buying group, SWIFT also ensures greater competition between telecom service providers which will lead to better services at lower prices in member communities.
Help SWIFT fund the construction of “broadband for everyone” by completing an Internet usage survey: www.swiftruralbroadband.ca/survey.