Canada and Ontario Building Broadband in Waterloo Region

More rural Ontarians will benefit from access to high-speed internet

Multiple devices (CNW Group/Bell Canada)

WATERLOO REGION – The governments of Canada and Ontario, in partnership with Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc, have completed construction on broadband infrastructure that will provide access to fast, reliable high-speed internet service to 470 families, farms and businesses in Waterloo Region.

“Access to high-speed internet is essential to allow Canadians in rural communities to continue to grow and prosper in our increasingly connected world,” said Bryan May, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Cambridge, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “Completion of this broadband infrastructure allows hundreds of residents in the Waterloo Region to access reliable, modern, high-speed internet services for online classes, virtual doctor visits, e-commerce businesses and many more online activities.”

The federal and provincial governments have committed more than $429,000 each to provide high-speed internet service to more than 90 families, farms and businesses in the Township of Woolwich, and more than 120 families, farms and businesses in the community of Haysville.

“Our government is delivering on its commitment to provide access to high-speed internet throughout rural Ontario,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Projects that connect more communities to high-speed internet, like this one in Waterloo Region, are crucial to building a stronger Ontario. We’re helping families and farmers stay in touch with loved ones, enabling them to access supports they need while providing a much-needed boost to the local economy.”

In addition, both governments have supported the construction of an additional infrastructure network to provide more than 250 families, farms and businesses in the communities of Orr’s Lake and Clyde with access to high-speed internet service. Both governments each committed more than $430,000 to provide high-speed internet to these communities.

“Our government continues to show leadership in prioritizing critical infrastructure projects to support rural communities across Ontario and here in Waterloo Region,” said Mike Harris, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga. “The residents and businesses in Woolwich Township will benefit directly from access to better broadband services through the SWIFT program. Whether kids can get their homework done, adults can access job opportunities that allow work from home, or families can stream the latest season of a hit show on Netflix, this expansion will improve everyone’s productivity and well-being.”

The completion of these projects brings Ontario one step closer to delivering on its commitment to bring access to high-speed internet to every community by 2025, while also building stronger rural communities and laying the foundation for long-term economic growth.

“No matter where you live in Ontario, there should not be a barrier to internet access,” said Brian Riddell, MPP for Cambridge. “I’m extremely pleased that both levels of government have partnered with SWIFT to bring this much-needed infrastructure to residents in Waterloo Region. These investments will bring new opportunities for these areas and builds on our government’s commitment.”

The contracts to expand broadband services in Waterloo Region were 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 63,000 households and businesses in Southwestern Ontario through SWIFT.

“SWIFT is making strong progress in the expansion of high-speed broadband infrastructure across Southwestern Ontario and today’s announcement builds on our program’s commitment to drive greater connectivity throughout the region as we mark the completion of three high-speed fibre-optic projects in the Region of Waterloo,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “As we respond to the need for greater connectivity throughout Southwestern Ontario, we would like to thank the governments of Ontario and Canada for the ongoing support.”

Quick Facts

  • 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.
  • In July 2021, the governments of Canada and Ontario announced an historic agreement that will deliver bring high-speed internet to nearly 280,000 rural Ontario households in hundreds of communities across the province through an equal federal-provincial investment totalling more than $1.2 billion.
  • The Ontario Government has committed nearly $4 billion to bring high-speed internet access to every corner of the province 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.
  • In 2021, Ontario passed the Supporting Broadband and Infrastructure Expansion Act, 2021 to help speed up construction of broadband projects. Ontario is also helping to remove barriers, duplication and delays, making it easier and faster to build high-speed internet infrastructure through the Getting Ontario Connected Act, 2022, which was passed unanimously by the Legislature on April 11, 2022. This legislation will help ensure underserved and unserved communities across the province have access to reliable high-speed internet sooner and will help the government achieve its commitment to connect every region with access to high-speed internet by the end of 2025.

SOURCE Province of Ontario

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