(Huron County, ON) July 14, 2023 – SWIFT is pleased to announce the successful completion of five high-speed broadband projects, expanding internet access to more than 1,770 previously underserved homes and businesses in the counties of Bruce and Huron.
“Having access to high-speed internet service is essential in today’s digital world and plays a vital role in fostering the future growth and prosperity of small and rural communities in Southwestern Ontario,” said Barry Field, Executive Director, SWIFT. “With the completion of these high-speed projects in Huron and Bruce counties, the newly establish broadband infrastructure is now providing more residents with access to digital resources and online services, while also creating greater economic opportunities for local businesses. We’d like to thank our community partners and the local internet service providers, whose commitment and expertise made these projects possible, and we look forward to the long-lasting positive impact these projects will have on the region.”
“Providing reliable internet access is especially important for rural communities to prosper in our increasingly digital world,” said Peter Fragiskatos, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament for London North Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “Today’s announcement marks another milestone for homes, businesses, and farms in Huron and Bruce Counties that can now connect to essential online services and enjoy the additional economic opportunities made available through high-speed internet.”
“By continuing to build new broadband infrastructure in Huron and Bruce counties, we’re helping strengthen our local rural communities. This investment is helping to support the growing utilization of real-time data on farm and in our rural businesses, as well as helping people stay in touch with loved ones, enabling them to access the supports they need while proving to be a foundational pillar for economic success across the riding,” said Lisa Thompson, MPP for Huron-Bruce.
As part of SWIFT’s Southwestern broadband expansion plan, awarded service provider EH!tel Networks has completed the construction of a 66-kilometre high-speed network in Bruce County to bring greater connectivity to the municipalities of Arran-Elderslie, Brockton and South Bruce. Leveraging a combination of fibre and wireless technologies, this network brings access to fast and reliable internet service to over 1,050 homes and businesses in the communities of Vesta, Ellengowan, Pinkerton, Eden Grove, Cargill, Dunkeld, Chepstow, Pearl Lake, Maple Hill, and Malcolm.
“With the investment in increased connectivity for our rural communities, we are ensuring our region remains a desirable place to live, work and invest. It’s a testament to our commitment to future-proof our communities, ensuring our rural areas remain competitive in a global market. We extend thanks to all the partners involved in this innovative and collaborative initiative,” said Bruce County Warden, Chris Peabody.
In Huron County, HuronTel has completed construction on three fibre-to-the-home projects to service over 109-kilometres of roadway throughout the municipalities of North Huron, Morris-Turnberry and Central Huron. Collectively the newly installed fibre-optic networks are now providing 480 previously underserved homes and businesses in the communities of Marnoch, Hutton Heights and rural areas surrounding Benmiller and Blue Water Beach with access to high-speed internet service.
In addition, Tuckersmith Communications has successfully completed the construction of a 62-kilomtre fibre-optic network within the Municipality of Central Huron. The newly established infrastructure is now providing 240 homes and businesses in the community of Porter’s Hill with access to high-speed internet.
“The County of Huron is extremely proud of the progress being made to further expand access to high speed internet service,” said Huron County Warden Glen McNeil. “With the completion of each project we are one step closer to reaching our goal of having a fully connected, vibrant, and prosperous community.”
For additional information about SWIFT and its broadband expansion plans, please visit www.swiftruralbroadband.ca.
“We at EH!tel Networks, are grateful for the opportunity to expand our fibre to the home. Without funding for new high-capacity rural networks, costs would remain prohibitive. The funding received through SWIFT enables these projects to move forward and stimulate competition and encourage partnerships.”
– Antonius Peeters, Chief Executive Officer, EH!tel Networks
“Tuckersmith Communications is pleased to partner with SWIFT in Huron County. This will allow us to extend our fibre network to many underserved rural residents.”
– Paul Middegaal, Tuckersmith Communications, Board Chair.
- SWIFT in partnership with the federal and provincial governments and private sector investors has committed a combined investment of $30.8 million to bring high-speed internet service to over 7,720 underserved homes and businesses throughout Bruce and Huron Counties.
- 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 underway, with 22 projects in the construction phase and 75 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