September 23, 2022 4:09pm
More residents in Lambton and Middlesex counties will soon have access to high speed broadband internet service.
The federal and provincial governments are each investing over $741,000 to provide the service to more than 1,000 families, farms and businesses in the Lambton communities of Ravenswood, Gustin Grove, Cedar Point, Glendale Beach, Hillsborough Beach and Highland Glen.
They have also committed $575,000 to provide access to more than 290 customers in Thedford, Springvale, and Jura.
In Middlesex County, a total of $900,000 will support construction of broadband infrastructure to provide access for more than 170 families, farms and businesses in Kerwood, Strathroy and Napperton in the fall of 2022, and for more than 100 in Ballymote by December 2022.
Both governments are also committing more than $65,000 each to support construction of infrastructure in Middlesex County, to provide service for more than 65 families, farms and businesses in rural areas outside of the community of Melrose by May 2023.
Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP and Labour Minister Monte McNaughton said it’s important for everyone across the province to have equal access.
“It’s important for our rural communities to ensure that farmers can grow their businesses, and families have access to high speed so that kids can do their homework and do projects,” said McNaughton. “We’re continuing to invest. It’s a total investment, province-wide, of $4 billion over the next several years.”
McNaughton said the investment is another step in the right direction.
“Under the leadership of Premier Ford, we’re ensuring that by the year 2025 everyone in Ontario has access to high speed broadband internet. I don’t have to tell anyone that these connections are truly life changing.”
The contracts to expand broadband services in Lambton and Middlesex counties were awarded by Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc, a not-for-profit corporation initiated by local municipalities to address connectivity in southwestern Ontario.
“SWIFT is proud to partner with the federal and provincial governments as we continue to expand broadband service throughout our project’s region,” said SWIFT Board Chair Gary McNamara. “With new high-speed connections now being made in Lambton County and construction of critical broadband infrastructure continuing to progress in Middlesex County we move one step closer to reaching our goal of a more connected southwestern Ontario.”
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.