Midhurst/December 11, 2020 – Today Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) announced it has awarded $41.1 million in funding to support six fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) projects across Simcoe County. This investment is set to expand broadband services for almost 13,000 households and businesses in Simcoe County that have limited to no connectivity.
“As a region with a diverse range of rural and urban communities, access to reliable, high-speed connectivity is essential, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic as many of our businesses and residents are adapting to a new virtual environment," said Warden George Cornell. “We are grateful to the Federal and Provincial governments, as well as our future private-sector partners, for their generous investment in expanding broadband connectivity in our region."
“County Council has been a strong supporter of SWIFT from the outset, and today these collaborative efforts paid off for the residents and businesses of Simcoe County. It's important to recognize past and present Councillors, municipal staff and partners who have worked for many years to make SWIFT a reality."
The project was funded by a joint federal and provincial infrastructure funding program. Municipal partners and private sector investors have also supported improved access to broadband services across the region, including the County of Simcoe, which has provided approximately $2.5 million in funding to SWIFT since 2015.
Highlights from SWIFT Announcement:
- More than 12,700 households and businesses, approximately 31,750 residents, across Simcoe County to see improvements in broadband internet services.
- Simcoe County will receive $41.1 million in broadband upgrades.
- As a result of SWIFT's competitive tendering process, the total County project value increased by 47 per cent, delivering an additional $13 million in infrastructure investments.
- The newly announced projects will collectively service approximately 500 kilometres of roadway across 60 communities within Simcoe County.
- Bell Canada has been awarded funding to support three fibre-to-the-home projects. The newly awarded projects will collectively service 389 kilometres of underserved roadway to bring high-speed internet to 10,604 homes and businesses throughout the Townships of Clearview, Adjala-Tosorontio, Essa, Springwater, Oro-Medonte, Tiny, Tay, Severn, Ramara and within the Towns of Midland, Penetanguishene and Innisfil. The projects represent a collective total investment of approximately $32 million and will be completed with service available by mid-2022.
- SWIFT has signed an agreement with Vianet to deploy fibre cabling along more than 73 kilometres of underserved roadway throughout the Towns of New Tecumseth and Bradford West Gwillimbury and within the Township of Adjala-Tosorontio to deliver high-speed internet to 1,207 businesses and homes. Construction of the $5.8-million fibre-to-the-home solution is expected to be completed with service available early-2022.
- Cogeco Communications will receive funding to deploy fibre-optic cabling along 19 kilometres of underserviced roads within the Township of Severn. The $1.5-million fibre-to-the-home network will deliver high-speed connectivity to 467 households and businesses by late-2022.
- Rogers Communications was awarded a contract to deploy fibre-optic cabling along 15 kilometres of underserviced roads in the Township of Clearview. The $1.8-million fibre-to-the-home solution will deliver high-speed connectivity to 422 households and businesses by early-2022.
Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) is a non-profit regional broadband project initiated by the Western Ontario Wardens' Caucus to subsidize the construction of high-speed broadband networks across Southwestern Ontario, Caledon and the Niagara Region. https://swiftruralbroadband.ca/
County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.
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Public Relations Consultant
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch