On Tuesday, November 17, Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) announced it has awarded funding to expand broadband services to more than 5,200 households and businesses across Bruce County, including expanding high-speed fibre-optic service to more than 300 homes in Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.
SWIFT has awarded $9.1 million in federal and provincial funding to improve high-speed internet connectivity throughout the municipalities of Arran-Elderslie, Brockton, Northern Bruce Peninsula, South Bruce, Huron-Kinloss, and South Bruce Peninsula, and in the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation. In total, the region will receive $16.3 million in broadband upgrades, including more than $7.2 million in contributions from the internet service providers.
“Access to reliable, affordable, fast internet is essential to move Bruce County into a strong, resilient future. The funding from the Province and the Federal governments will allow the SWIFT program to move one more step closer to making this a reality for all of our businesses and residents,” said Bruce County Warden Mitch Twolan. “County Council is excited to work alongside project partners in seeing this important initiative realized.”
Barry Field, Executive Director, SWIFT, adds “Projects are now well underway in many areas across our region and we expect the first wave of construction to begin in Bruce County by early 2021. In total SWIFT will bring better broadband service to approximately 13,000 residents across 23 communities within the County by 2022.”
- Xplornet Communications was awarded $6.4 million to bring high-speed internet to 3,247 homes and businesses within the municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula and the Town of South Bruce Peninsula. Service will be available by mid-2022.
- GBTEL was awarded $1.3 million to bring high-speed internet service to 313 households and businesses in the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation community. Service will be available by late-2022.
- GBTEL was also awarded $1.5 million to bring high-speed service to more than 252 households in the municipality of South Bruce. Service will be available by late-2022.
- EH!tel Networks was awarded $4.7 million to expand broadband access and provide high-speed connectivity to more than 1,054 residents within the municipalities of Arran-Elderslie, Brockton, and South Bruce. Service will be available by late-2021.
- Wightman Telecom was awarded $1.1 million to bring high-speed connectivity to 226 households and businesses in the municipality of South Bruce. Service will be available by early-2022.
- HuronTel was awarded $1.3 million to bring high-speed connectivity to 128 households and businesses in the municipality of South Bruce and within the Township of Huron-Kinloss. Service will be available by early-2022.
The newly announced projects are part of SWIFT’s $209 million broadband expansion plan that aims to bring better broadband access to approximately 50,000 under-served homes and businesses across Southwestern Ontario.