Helping more rural Ontarians benefit from high-speed internet
NEWS April 20, 2022
BRANT COUNTY – As part of the Ontario government’s plan to connect every community in the province to high-speed internet by 2025, the governments of Canada and Ontario are investing more than $3 million to bring fast, reliable high-speed internet to more than 1,500 homes, farms and businesses in Brant County.
In partnership with Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc., the completion of this $9.3 million broadband project in May 2023, will help connect the communities of Harrisburg, Harley, Fairfield Plain, Burtch, Newport and Middleport, to the high-speed internet service they need and deserve. These new connections will help farms and businesses to attract new customers, grow their operations and create new jobs, and also enable people in these areas to connect online to work, learn and pursue opportunities.
“For communities to remain vibrant and resilient in our increasingly digital world, reliable access to internet is a necessity,” said Bryan May, Member of Parliament for Cambridge and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defense, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “The construction of a new fibre optic network will bring modern internet access to over 1,500 homes, farms and businesses in Brant County. Our government’s partnership with the Government of Ontario is helping rural communities across Southwestern Ontario connect with the world.”
“Our government is getting it done and delivering on its commitment to provide access to high-speed internet throughout rural Ontario,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Building new broadband infrastructure in Brant County will help build Ontario and strengthen rural communities by helping people stay in touch with loved ones, enabling them to access the supports they need, while providing a much-needed boost to the local economy.”
“Raising a family and living or working in a rural community should not be a barrier to internet access,” said Will Bouma, MPP for Brantford – Brant. “I’m really pleased to see this project in Brantford-Brant as it will help connect many more businesses and residents to the high-speed internet they need. This investment will bring new opportunities for these areas and builds on our government’s efforts to expand high-speed internet access throughout Ontario.”
The contract to expand broadband services was awarded by SWIFT Inc., a not-for-profit corporation, initiated by local municipalities to address connectivity in Southwestern Ontario. More than $255 million has been invested by the governments of Canada and Ontario and the private sector, to bring high-speed internet to more than 63,000 households and businesses in Southwestern Ontario through SWIFT Inc. by the end of 2025.
“Today, in partnership with the governments of Ontario and Canada, we are pleased to announce that construction of new high-speed broadband infrastructure has begun in Brant County to bring greater connectivity to more than 1,500 homes and businesses,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “This milestone in SWIFT’s regional broadband expansion plan is another step in the right direction to achieving the level of connectivity in Southwestern Ontario that is required in today’s highly connected world.”
- 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.
- The Ontario government is committing nearly $4 billion in broadband infrastructure to connect every region of the province with access to high-speed internet by the end of 2025. This proactive approach is the largest single investment in high-speed internet, in any province, by any government in Canadian history.
- Expanding access to broadband and cellular service is part of Ontario Onwards: Ontario’s COVID-19 Action Plan for a People-Focused Government, which includes more than 30 projects that are changing the way people and businesses interact with government.
Jack Sullivan, Minister’s Office
Belinda Sutton, Communications Branch
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