Canada and Ontario Bringing More High-Speed Internet to Waterloo RegionPublished on March 23, 2022
Funding will help connect more than 90 homes, farms, and businesses to high-speed internet service.
WATERLOO REGION – As part of the Ontario government’s plan to connect every community to high-speed internet by 2025, the governments of Canada and Ontario are each committing up to $292,000 to build a new infrastructure network in the Township of Woolwich.
“More than ever, people, families, and businesses are looking for information, products, and services online. Raising a family and living in or working in a rural community, should not be a barrier to internet access for anyone who needs it,” said Mike Harris, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga. “I’m extremely pleased that SWIFT is bringing this much-needed infrastructure to Woolwich. This investment underscores the government’s commitment to making life better, easier, and more accessible for all Ontarians.”
The completion of this project in June 2022 will connect more than 90 homes, farms and businesses in the area to the high-speed internet service they need and deserve. This will enable homes, farms and businesses to attract new customers, grow their operations and create new jobs while also helping people connect online to work, learn, access services, shop and stay in touch with family and friends.
“Reliable high-speed internet is critical to ensuring Canadian families and businesses have the ability to grow and prosper in today’s increasingly connected world,” said Tim Louis, Member of Parliament for Kitchener–Conestoga, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “Through the investments we’re announcing today with our Ontario partners, an additional 90 homes in Waterloo Region will see their broadband connection vastly improved.”
“Our government has made access to high-speed internet a priority for rural Ontario, and we’re delivering on that commitment,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “New connections like these will help families stay in touch, help people access supports they need while providing a much-needed boost to the local economy. This is the type of critical infrastructure that will build Ontario and benefit the entire community.”
The $874,000 contract to expand broadband services was awarded by Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (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 58,000 households and businesses in Southwestern Ontario through SWIFT.
“Together with the governments of Ontario and Canada we are pleased to announce the start of construction on a fibre-optic network in the Region of Waterloo that will bring high-speed internet service to many more rural residents in the Township of Woolwich,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “Today’s announcement proudly marks yet another milestone for SWIFT and our partners as the program continues to drive forward with its regional broadband expansion plan in efforts to provide greater economic growth potential and increase online opportunities for residents and businesses throughout Southwestern Ontario.”
- 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.
- In 2021, Ontario passed the Supporting Broadband and Infrastructure Expansion Act, 2021to help speed up construction of broadband projects. To build on this legislation, the Ontario government introduced the Getting Ontario Connected Act, 2022. The proposed changes would remove barriers, duplication, and delays, making it easier and faster to build high-speed internet infrastructure across the province. If passed, this legislation would help meet our government’s commitment to connect every community with access to high-speed internet by the end of 2025.
Jack Sullivan, Minister’s Office
Belinda Sutton, Communications Branch
Kasia Kaminska, Office of MPP Mike Harris