More Communities in Lambton County to be Connected to Broadband

More Communities in Lambton County to be Connected to Broadband

Wanstead, Rokeby, Walnut and Sutorville will soon have access to fast, reliable internet

May 11, 2021

Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Treasury Board Secretariat

LAMBTON COUNTY – More than 570 residents and businesses in Lambton County are one step closer to fast, reliable internet service due to the beginning of construction of broadband infrastructure in the community.

The communities of Wanstead, Rokeby, Walnut and Sutorville will soon be able to take advantage of this $5.9 million infrastructure network project, that will deliver reliable internet access to more homes and businesses, and will help create jobs and economic growth in the county.

Both the Governments of Canada and Ontario each committed over $385,000 to fund these broadband network expansions to create more economic and educational opportunities in rural, remote and underserved areas of the county.

The contracts to expand fibre-optic broadband services in Lambton County 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, more than 3,190 households and businesses in Southwestern Ontario have received access to improved broadband through SWIFT.

“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. “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 County 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 construction of broadband infrastructure in the communities of Wanstead, Rokeby, Walnut and Sutorville is underway, and more people in Lambton County now soon have access to fast, reliable internet service,” said Ernie Hardeman. Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This is an important step forward in our plan to deliver broadband that supports better educational opportunities, attracts more businesses and create jobs in Lambton County.”

“With more families working and learning from home than ever before, the need for reliable, affordable broadband service in rural areas is critical,” commented Bob Bailey, MPP Sarnia-Lambton. “This is great news for the over 570 customers who will benefit from these important investments.”

“Increasing access to reliable high-speed internet service is key to supporting the social and economic well-being of Southwestern Ontario’s rural and underserved communities,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “Today in partnership with the governments of Ontario and Canada, we are pleased to announced that SWIFT’s efforts to expand broadband service in Lambton County continues to move forward as work is now underway to bring greater connectivity to an additional 578 homes and businesses within the municipality.”

Efforts continue to bridge the gaps in broadband access in Southwestern Ontario, as part of a combined federal – provincial investment of more than $191 million to bring fast, reliable and affordable internet to 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.

Quick Facts

  • The governments of Canada and Ontario are each contributing more than $63 million to SWIFT through the New Building Canada Fund’s Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component – Small Communities Fund of the Investing in Canada plan.
  • SWIFT Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation initiated by the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus to address connectivity in Southwestern Ontario that will support the critical expansion of broadband to underserved areas.
  • The 2021 Budget commits a historic new investment of $2.8 billion in broadband infrastructure to ensure that every region in the province has access to reliable broadband by the end of 2025. This brings the Province’s total investment to nearly $4 billion over six years. This proactive approach is the largest single investment in broadband, in any province, by any government in Canadian history.
  • The Ontario government will continue to expand access to broadband and cellular service through the Improving Connectivity for Ontario program (ICON). It has doubled its investment in the program to $300 million. This multi-year program aims to support approved projects as early as 2021.

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