Oxford County gains increased broadband access

Mar 08, 2023

The increase in high-speed infrastructure is expected to benefit over 1,040 people in the area

By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com
Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

Good news for residents of Oxford County, Ontario, as a recent investment for increased broadband infrastructure is expected to benefit over 1,040 families, farms, and businesses within the zone.

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing a combined $3.4 million-plus to bring reliable high-speed internet to this area—much as it is doing throughout a plethora of other rural areas in the province.

“Ensuring that residents, especially those in rural communities, have reliable access to high-speed internet is vital to community development and well-being,” said Bryan May, the 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.

May continued: “Today’s announcement will ensure that over 1,000 homes, businesses, and farms in Oxford County have improved access to essential online services for years to come.”

Partnering with Southwest Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc., the two levels of government noted that the communities of Fairview, Maplewood, Brooksdale, Youngsville, Bennington, Braemar, Hickson, Strathallan, Huntingford, and Willow Lake soon have the infrastructure to enable high-speed internet service.

In addition, projects enabling service to the communities of Salford, Hagles Corners, Foldens, Curries, Culloden, Delmer, and Ostrander are now complete.

“Our government continues to deliver on its commitment to expand access to high-speed internet to communities across the province,” stated Lisa Thompson, the Minister of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). “By building new broadband infrastructure in Oxford County, we’re helping to build Ontario and strengthen rural communities. This investment is helping people stay in touch with loved ones, enabling them to access the supports they need while providing a much-needed boost to the local economy.”

This announcement marks the completion of four more projects under the SWIFT project and builds on the Ontario government’s plan to get the right infrastructure in the right places, ensuring people can live, work, and farm where they want.

“There are still many people, especially rural residents, who do not have reliable internet access to stay regularly connected to family and friends, or to access public services such as health care,” said Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman. "The completion of these new infrastructure projects in Oxford will benefit numerous families and businesses and help to expand and create new opportunities.”

The contracts to expand broadband services in Oxford County were awarded by SWIFT, a not-for-profit corporation, initiated by local municipalities to address connectivity in Southwestern Ontario.

“Connectivity is key to empowering businesses, strengthening local economies, and unlocking new opportunities for innovation and growth across our region,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “And today in partnership with the governments of Ontario and Canada, we are pleased to mark the completion of four high-speed fibre-optic projects that are now collectively providing more than 1,000 additional rural homes and businesses in Oxford County with access to fast reliable broadband service.”

So far, over $255 million has been invested by the governments of Canada and Ontario and the private sector to bring high-speed internet access to more than 63,000 farms, families, and businesses in southwestern Ontario through SWIFT by the end of 2023.

The goal, as announced in July of 2021 by the governments of Canada and Ontario, is to create the infrastructure to allow over 280,000 households across the province to gain access to high-speed internet, via a joint investment totaling more than $1.2 billion.

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