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Ultra-High Speed Internet Coming to 300 Communities in Southwestern Ontario

News Release

Ultra-High Speed Internet Coming to 300 Communities in Southwestern Ontario

Ontario and Canada Investing $180 Million to Create Jobs and Stimulate Economy

Ministry of Infrastructure

The governments of Ontario and Canada are investing up to $180 million to help bring ultra-high speed internet to homes and businesses in southwestern Ontario.

Canada and Ontario will each provide up to $90 million towards the total project cost of approximately $281 million. This investment is part of the new Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) project, which will expand access to broadband by delivering fibre optic coverage to over 300 communities with a total population of 3.5 million -- spanning counties and municipalities in southwestern Ontario, as well as Caledon and Niagara.

The project will help southwestern Ontario communities and businesses 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.

Expanding high-speed internet access is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario's history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

Quick Facts

  • 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.
  • The SWIFT project is part of the New Building Canada Fund’s Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component – Small Communities Fund.
  • Through the Small Communities Fund, Ontario and the federal government are each providing $272 million over 10 years to support infrastructure projects in communities with populations under 100,000.
  • Ontario is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province's history – about $160 billion over 12 years, which is supporting 110,000 jobs every year across the province, with projects such as hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit. Since 2015, the province has announced support for more than 475 projects that will keep people and goods moving, connect communities and improve quality of life. To learn more about infrastructure projects in your community, go to Ontario.ca/BuildON.

Additional Resources

Quotes

Bob Chiarelli

“This project will bring critical broadband infrastructure to southwestern Ontario. High-speed internet will connect people and businesses to the resources they need to compete in the global marketplace and strengthen our economy. Equipping people in the province with the tools they need to succeed is one of the ways we’re helping to build Ontario up.”

Bob Chiarelli

Ontario Minister of Infrastructure

“The Government of Canada’s ongoing investments in broadband infrastructure are improving connectivity in communities across the country. By providing better access to a wider variety of online tools and resources, we are increasing the potential for economic growth and diversification in these communities, and are helping the middle class and those working hard to join it.”

Naveep Singh Bains

Federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Jeff Leal

“Our government recognizes that the future of Ontario will be built on a digital economy as people increasingly want the convenience of doing business anywhere in Ontario. By investing in SWIFT, Ontario will bring high speed internet to residents in more than 300 southwestern communities, creating economic opportunities and ensuring families and businesses across the province have access to this technology. I heard first hand at many rural roundtables and at the recent Rural Ontario Summit how important broadband is for rural communities and now our government is actively addressing that need as part of our economic plan to build the province up and deliver on our number-one priority of creating jobs and growing the economy.”

Jeff Leal

Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

“Just as businesses depend on roads and electricity, high-speed Internet is fundamental to advancing the province’s economic interests. 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.”

Allan O’Dette

President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce

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