SWIFT today announced it has awarded contracts totalling an estimated $11.5 million to support the construction of three fibre-to-the-home broadband projects. Delivering internet speed up to 1 gigabit per second, the fibre networks are expected to significantly increase access to broadband services to more than 3,900 homes and businesses within Norfolk County in the areas of Long Point, Old Cut, Walsh, Turkey Point, Normandale, Wilsonville, Boston, Bealton, Dundurn, Waterford, Townsend Centre, Villa Nova, and Bloomsburg.
“SWIFT is proud to support the rollout of three new fibre networks within Norfolk County to deliver future-proofed broadband services to many more rural residents,” says David Mayberry, SWIFT Board Chair. “Today’s announcement is a major milestone for SWIFT and our partners and is a welcome step in the right direction to increasing access to high-speed connectivity across Southwestern Ontario.”
SWIFT has awarded $5.3 million in federal and provincial funding to support three new fibre-to-the-home projects. The value of the newly announced projects is approximately $11.5 million, including $6.2 million in contributions from the service providers.
“Fast and reliable internet access has the potential to be a true game-changer for people who have long been waiting for it,” says Kristal Chopp, Mayor of Norfolk County. “This project will open so many doors for residents in Norfolk: for businesses looking to harness the power of modern technology, for young people who want to access a world of learning opportunities, for farmers who want to add 21st-century tools to their agricultural practices. That’s why we’re so excited to be a part of the SWIFT initiative. My sincere thanks to Councillor Masschaele for all the great work he’s done on this project to date.”
”This is the next big step in bringing the patient residents of Norfolk ever closer to the high-speed world,” says Tom Masschaele, Norfolk County Councillor and SWIFT Board Member. “While patience is still required, we continue to get closer to our connectivity goals.”
Rogers, new to the service area, will receive funding to build a fibre network that will service 71 kilometres of underserved roads to improve access to high-speed internet for over 2,100 homes in Wilsonville, Boston, Bealton, Dundurn, Waterford, Townsend Centre, Villa Nova, Bloomsburg and several rural roads between and surrounding these communities. The total estimated cost of the project is approximately $7.6 million. The service provider also intents to invest an additional $800,000 into the development of the network to cover ineligible project costs . The new network is expected to be up and running by Mid-2021.
Funding has also been awarded to Execulink Telecom for two new projects to install fibre lines to service 58 kilometres of underserved roads. At an estimated cost of $3.9 million, the projects will collectively provide high-speed connectivity to more than 1,830 homes and businesses in the areas of Long Point and Old Cut, Walsh, Turkey Point and Normandale. Projects are scheduled to be completed, with services available by early 2021.
“Execulink Telecom is proud to participate in the SWIFT broadband initiative. We understand how essential it is to deliver fast, affordable and reliable broadband services to homes and businesses in underserviced rural communities,” says Ian Stevens, President and CEO, Execulink Telecom. “Partnering with SWIFT will allow us to successfully contribute to community and economic growth, within select areas that are in need of a more advanced technological experience. We look forward to expanding our fibre footprint in the communities of Turkey Point and Long Point.”
SWIFT is making the investments through the New Building Canada Fund – Small Communities Fund (NBCF-SCF), a joint federal and provincial infrastructure funding program, and in partnership with its member municipalities.
“SWIFT is committed to working collaboratively with our service providers to invest in broadband infrastructure expansion projects that maximize the reach of high-speed connectivity in rural areas across our project region,” says Barry Field, Executive Director, SWIFT. “The newly announced fibre-to-the-home projects will provide families and businesses in previously underserved areas with greater access to faster and more affordable broadband services, enabling them to connect and stay connected in our increasingly digital world.”
The newly funded projects will deliver internet speed up to 1 gigabit per second and are part of the SWIFT $209 million Southwestern Ontario broadband expansion plan.