Canada and Ontario Increasing Access to Broadband Service in Essex County

Rural residents in municipality of Leamington will benefit from high-speed internet expansion

person using a laptop computer

ESSEX COUNTY –The governments of Canada and Ontario are each investing more than $392,000 to increase access to fast, reliable high-speed internet to more than 480 homes, farms, and businesses in Essex County.

In partnership with Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc., the completion of this broadband project in December 2022, will help connect the community of Marentette Beach, in the municipality of Leamington, to the high-speed internet service it needs and deserves.

“Reliable broadband infrastructure is a necessity for Canadian families and businesses in this increasingly connected world,” said Irek Kusmierczyk, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion and Member of Parliament for Windsor—Tecumseh, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “The start of construction of new fibre technology and additional network infrastructure in Essex County gets us one step closer to connecting all Canadians to high-speed internet by 2030.”

As part of the Ontario government’s plan to bring access to high-speed internet service to every community by 2025, these new connections will help farms and businesses attract new customers, grow their operations, and create new jobs, while also enabling people to connect online to work, learn and access vital services.

“If rural Ontario is going to flourish, access to high-speed internet access will be a part of that gateway to growth,” said Trevor Jones, Member of Provincial Parliament for Chatham – Kent – Leamington and the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Lisa Thompson. “This recent broadband expansion into the municipality of Leamington will give more households and businesses the ability to connect that they didn’t have before. This announcement will be key to the future success of our riding and for all of rural Ontario.”

The contract to expand broadband services in Essex County 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 63,000 households and businesses in Southwestern Ontario through SWIFT by the end of 2025.

“SWIFT, in partnership with the federal and provincial governments, is committed to bringing greater access to high-speed internet connectivity across Southwestern Ontario to support small and rural underserved communities,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “Today we are pleased to mark the start of construction on a fibre-to-the-home network in Essex County that will soon provide more than 480 homes and businesses in the community of Marentette Beach with high-speed broadband service.”

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 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 helps 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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