SWIFT launches an $11.2M targeted project focused on underserved homes and businesses
- In partnership with the Government of Ontario and Canada, SWIFT is launching a targeted broadband project in Lambton County to improve high-speed internet.
- SWIFT represents a significant change in the way we think about and fund investment in broadband. The goal of the targeted project is to leverage and apply the learnings to SWIFT’s full-scale project plan across Southwestern Ontario, Niagara and Caledon.
- The phased approach ensures that public investment is spent wisely and will assist in the future delivery of SWIFT’s larger initiative.
Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology Inc. (SWIFT), a regional broadband initiative, in partnership with the Government of Ontario and Canada is proud to announce the launch of a targeted broadband project dedicated to improving internet connectivity to homes and businesses in Lambton County.
“SWIFT is committed to delivering open access broadband networks throughout Southwestern Ontario. The newly announced targeted project will be part of the first wave of deployment within our larger project region,” says SWIFT Board Vice Chair Mitch Twolan. “The key learnings from this project will enable SWIFT to roll-out its future full-scale deployment plan at an accelerated rate to provide many more residents, businesses and institutions with access to high-speed connectivity.”
The targeted project will focus on underserved areas within the county that do not meet the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications (CRTC) universal service objective of 50 Mbps download/10 Mbps upload (50/10) and are not currently expected to see any commercial roll-out plans from service providers in the near future.
SWIFT’s innovative approach to funding open access broadband networks will aim to connect business facilities, public buildings and residential homes in underserved areas within the project region.
SWIFT will issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for Lambton County’s project later this year. During this phase of the project, SWIFT’s prequalified Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) will bid on the project and will propose the most efficient and effective network designs to address connectivity challenges within the local area.
Construction of the network will commence once the procurement process has been completed and successful proponents have been selected.
“Access to affordable and reliable high-speed Internet has become a top priority for our region, its residents and business owners. High-speed internet is changing how we work, live, educate, entertain ourselves and govern our communities”, says Twolan. “The announcement of SWIFT’s targeted project in Lambton County is a great example of government and community leaders working together to narrow the digital divide in rural Ontario.”
SWIFT’s application for funding was approved under Canada-Ontario Small Communities Fund (SCF), a joint federal and provincial infrastructure funding program. As part of the ongoing SCF funding process, SWIFT and the province of Ontario will work collaboratively to validate implementation details throughout the targeted project, and to finalize a funding agreement that would enable SWIFT to continue to subsidize additional network construction throughout Southwestern Ontario, Caledon and the Niagara Region.
About the SWIFT Initiative
Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology Inc. (SWIFT) is a non-profit regional broadband project initiated by the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus to subsidize the construction of an open-access, high-speed broadband network in Southwestern Ontario, Caledon and the Niagara Region. The project’s approach strives towards the overarching goals of narrowing the digital divide and making small-town Ontario more competitive in the information economy.
For more information about SWIFT, please contact: