More broadband coming soon to Waterloo region

More broadband coming soon to Waterloo region
Mar 23, 2022

New high speed internet infrastructure to be in place in Woolwich will connect 90+ homes, farms, and businesses.

By Andrew Joseph,

High-speed internet service is coming in dribs and drabs to rural areas across Canada—but it’s coming.

On March 23, 2022, OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) announced that as part of the Ontario provincial government’s plan—and Canada’s plan—to unite every community with high-speed internet by 2025, the governments of Ontario and Canada are each providing up to $292,000 for the installation of a new broadband infrastructure network in the Township of Woolwich in the Waterloo region.

Expected to be completed by June of 2022, the project will better connect over 90 homes, farms and businesses within the area to high-speed internet, enabling each the ability to grow operations and create new jobs.

“Reliable high-speed internet is critical to ensuring Canadian families and businesses have the ability to grow and prosper in today’s increasingly connected world,” said Tim Louis, Member of Parliament for Kitchener–Conestoga, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “Through the investments we’re announcing today with our Ontario partners, an additional 90 homes in Waterloo Region will see their broadband connection vastly improved.”

Added Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs: “Our government has made access to high-speed internet a priority for rural Ontario, and we’re delivering on that commitment. “New connections like these will help families stay in touch, help people access supports they need while providing a much-needed boost to the local economy. This is the type of critical infrastructure that will build Ontario and benefit the entire community.”

The $874,000 contract to expand broadband services 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 ever, people, families, and businesses are looking for information, products, and services online. Raising a family and living in or working in a rural community, should not be a barrier to internet access for anyone who needs it,” said Mike Harris, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga. “I’m extremely pleased that SWIFT is bringing this much-needed infrastructure to Woolwich. This investment underscores the government’s commitment to making life better, easier, and more accessible for all Ontarians.”

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 58,000 households and businesses in Southwestern Ontario through SWIFT.

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 of the Investing in Canada plan. The Ontario government is committing nearly $4 billion in broadband infrastructure to connect every region of the province with access to high-speed internet 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.

Expanding access to broadband and cellular service is part of Ontario Onwards: Ontario’s COVID-19 Action Plan for a People-Focused Government, which includes more than 30 projects that are changing the way people and businesses interact with government.

“Together with the governments of Ontario and Canada we are pleased to announce the start of construction on a fibre-optic network in the Region of Waterloo that will bring high-speed internet service to many more rural residents in the Township of Woolwich,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair.

“Today’s announcement proudly marks yet another milestone for SWIFT and our partners as the program continues to drive forward with its regional broadband expansion plan in efforts to provide greater economic growth potential and increase online opportunities for residents and businesses throughout Southwestern Ontario.”

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