In Middlesex County, construction of $7.2 million in broadband infrastructure has started in the communities of Christina, Longwood, Mayfair, Middlemiss, Muncey and rural areas around Thorndale. This will help create more economic and educational opportunities in rural, remote and underserved areas of Middlesex County.
“Access to fast and reliable internet service is key to the modern world we live in,” said Peter Fragiskatos, Member of Parliament of London North Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development. “As someone who continues to advocate for Southwestern Ontario, today’s announcement is certainly welcomed. This excellent broadband infrastructure will serve the people of Lambton and Middlesex counties very well now and in the years to come, allowing residents and businesses to thrive. The well-being of rural citizens is a priority for this federal government and that will continue.”
“The pandemic has proven that access to high-speed internet is no longer a luxury but a necessity for all Ontarians,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Families need high-speed internet to do their work; additionally, students and businesses need broadband to stay connected and compete in a global marketplace. These projects in Middlesex and Lambton are important steps forward in our government’s plan to connect every community in Ontario to high-speed internet by 2025.”
In Lambton County, construction of $1.7 million in broadband infrastructure has now begun in the communities of Thedford (Former Bosanquet Township), Springvale, Jericho and Jura, that will deliver reliable internet access to more homes and businesses.
More than 1,000 homes and businesses now have access to fast, reliable broadband internet service, that will serve the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation. This fibre-optic network project valued at $2.6 million is now in-service to provide economic and educational opportunities to the community.
“Today’s investment is another step towards fulfilling our government’s promise of making highspeed internet accessible for all,” said Monte McNaughton, MPP for Lambton—Kent—Middlesex. “This project will connect families, farmers, and shopkeepers across Middlesex and Lambton to a world of opportunities online. From instant communication to making collaborations at work easier, the internet is a tool that helps making life better for everyone.”
The contracts to expand fibre-optic broadband services were awarded by Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc, a not-for-profit corporation initiated by local municipalities to address connectivity in Southwestern Ontario. To date, 5,700 households and businesses in Southwestern Ontario have received access to improved broadband through SWIFT.
“Access to reliable broadband service is essential to supporting the long-term social and economic growth of our rural and underserved communities across Southwestern Ontario,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “With the support of the federal and provincial governments through the SWIFT program we have been able to advance these projects forward to provide many more residents throughout the region with access to high-speed internet to support the enhancement of education, increase access to online resources, enable remote working and offer greater economic opportunity for businesses to thrive.”
Efforts continue to bridge the gaps in broadband access in Southwestern Ontario, as part of a combined public and private sector investment of more than $255 million to bring fast, reliable and affordable internet to tens of thousands of homes and businesses. This will allow communities to attract new development, strengthen local economies and create more well-paying jobs and opportunities in rural Ontario.