EAST GARAFRAXA – Construction of broadband infrastructure has begun in Dufferin County, which will soon connect more than 250 homes and businesses to fast, reliable internet service.
The governments of Canada and Ontario have each committed more than $470,000 to fund broadband expansion projects that will deliver modern fibre-optic internet service in the communities of Garafraxa Woods, Marsville, Orton, Prices Corner and Craigsholme.
Ontario’s share comes out of $2.8 billion the Ford government budgeted this year to ensure every community in the province has access to reliable broadband by 2025. All told, the province says it is spending nearly $4 billion to improve internet access over six years — the “largest single investment in broadband, in any province, by any government in Canadian history.”
The upgrade for Dufferin County is spearheaded by Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT), a not-for-profit corporation initiated by the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus to address connectivity in Southwestern Ontario.
“The pandemic has proven that access to high speed internet is no longer a luxury but a necessity for all Ontarians,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Families need internet to do their work and for school and businesses need broadband to stay connected and compete in a global marketplace. These projects in The Town of Caledon and Dufferin County are important steps forward in our government’s plan to connect every community in Ontario to high speed internet by 2025.”
Broadband expansion work is already finished in the communities of Mount Wolfe, Albion and Centreville Creek, where more than 270 residents and businesses are now able to access fast, reliable internet service. This fibre-optic network will also bring high-speed internet access to more than 840 homes and businesses in the Town of Caledon when construction is completed in March 2022.
“At a time when people are depending more on broadband to access the internet, our government is delivering on its commitments with SWIFT projects in Dufferin-Caledon,” said Sylvia Jones, MPP Dufferin-Caledon. “It’s essential that we continue to expand access to broadband in our community as reliable high-speed internet has become a vital tool for use by residents and businesses on a daily basis.”
SWIFT has awarded contracts to expand fibre-optic broadband services in the Town of Caledon and Dufferin County. To date, 5,700 households and businesses in Southwestern Ontario have received access to improved broadband through SWIFT.
“With construction now underway in Dufferin County and new fibre connections being made in Caledon, today’s announcement marks yet another milestone for SWIFT and our partners as the program continues to drive forward with its regional broadband expansion plan,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “We would like to thank the federal and provincial governments for their ongoing support as we continue to work together to accelerate the expansion of broadband infrastructure across Southwestern Ontario.”
Efforts continue to bridge the gaps in broadband access in Southwestern Ontario, as part of a combined public and private sector investment of more than $255 million.