|FENWICK – As part of the Ontario government’s plan to build Ontario and its commitment to connect every community to broadband internet by 2025, construction is underway to connect more than 4,800 homes, farms and businesses in Fort Erie, Grimsby, Lincoln, West Lincoln, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Falls, Pelham and Wainfleet, to reliable high-speed internet services by December 2022. This $17.9 million initiative to build three new infrastructure networks in the Niagara Region will help ensure that farms and businesses in the region will have the ability to attract new customers, grow their business, create new jobs and stay competitive in an increasingly digital marketplace. Families in these communities will also be able to have confidence in knowing that connectivity will be available when they need it to access services, renew their driver’s licence, shop online, and do homework or work from home. The expanded fibre-optic service is supported by the governments of Canada and Ontario, each committing $ 3.5 million. The contracts to expand broadband services were awarded by Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc, a not-for-profit corporation, initiated by local municipalities to address connectivity in unserved and underserved areas of Southwestern Ontario.
“Today’s announcement is a concrete step towards bringing fast, reliable internet to eight additional Niagara Region communities, allowing them to have better access to essential services,” said Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “Our Government will keep working to connect all Canadians, here in Niagara Region and across the country, to high-speed internet.”
“Having access to high-speed internet service is vital for families and businesses in the Niagara Region and across the province,” said Toby Barrett, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk. “They need these services to do their work - whether it’s schoolwork or running a business. That’s why I’m so pleased that our government is helping to build the critical infrastructure needed to build Ontario and support communities in Niagara Region.”
"Since first being elected, I promised to advocate for investments in rural broadband," said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West. "The commitment today to expand broadband Internet in Fort Erie, Grimsby, Lincoln, West Lincoln, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Falls, Pelham and Wainfleet, will soon connect more than 4,800 homes, farms and businesses to reliable high-speed Internet services by December 2022. I will keep working with my colleagues, the Minister and Parliamentary Assistants for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, to invest in rural broadband in Niagara."
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.
“In today’s digitally driven economy, having access to high-speed internet is essential to ensuring future economic growth and development in small-towns and rural communities,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “In efforts to drive greater connectivity throughout Southwestern Ontario, we are pleased to mark the start of construction, in partnership with the federal and provincial governments, on three high-speed fibre-optic networks within the Niagara Region, that will deliver improved connectivity to more than 4,880 underserved homes and businesses throughout Fort Erie, Grimsby, Lincoln, West Lincoln, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Falls, Pelham and Wainfleet.”