Homes and businesses in more than 300 communities across southwestern Ontario will soon have more access to ultra-high speed internet.
The new Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) project will expand access to broadband by delivering fibre optic coverage to communities that make up 3.5 million people.
The $281 million project will be partly funded through a partnership between the governments of Ontario and Canada. Each will provide up to $90 million so that counties and municipalities in this part of Ontario, as well as Caledon and Niagara, can better compete in global markets, attract new jobs and improve quality of life. It will also allow individuals to use online resources to gain skills and experience.
“Just as businesses depend on roads and electricity, high-speed internet is fundamental to advancing the province’s economic interests,” said Allan O’Dette, president and chief executive officer of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “We are encouraged by the government’s decision to prioritize investment in local community infrastructure, which is critical for economic growth in the digital age.”
According to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, a 10 per cent increase in household broadband penetration could accelerate economic growth by up to 1.5 per cent.
Expanding high-speed internet access is part of the government’s four-part economic plan to build Ontario up, grow the economy and create jobs.