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Caledon is set for more connectivity with broadband infrastructure expansion




Mayor says Council won't stop until Town is “fully connected 

By Rob Paul

Construction of broadband infrastructure has begun in Dufferin County, which will soon connect more than 250 homes and businesses to fast, reliable internet service.

This will help create more economic and educational opportunities in rural, remote and underserved areas of the county.

The Governments of Canada and Ontario each committed more than $470,000 to fund broadband expansion projects that will deliver fast, reliable internet service in the communities of Garafraxa Woods, Marsville, Orton, Prices Corner and Craigsholme. 

“This critical investment in high-speed internet infrastructure ensures more people can connect, work, and study, especially during COVID-19,” said Bryan May, Member of Parliament for Cambridge, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development.

“Thank you to Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) and the municipalities whose hard work will connect more than 250 homes in Garafraxa Woods, Marsville, Orton, Prices Corner and Craigsholme with high-speed fibre optic internet. The internet is no longer a luxury so we must continue to connect rural communities and every family with broadband internet.”

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 pandemic has proven that access to high-speed internet is no longer a luxury but a necessity for all Ontarians,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Families need internet to do their work and for school and businesses need broadband to stay connected and compete in a global marketplace. These projects in The Town of Caledon and Dufferin County are important steps forward in our government's plan to connect every community in Ontario to high-speed internet by 2025.”

In addition to this construction progress, broadband expansion has now been completed in the communities of Mount Wolfe, Albion and Centreville Creek, where more than 270 residents and businesses are now able to access fast, reliable internet service.

This fibre-optic network will bring high-speed internet access to more than 840 homes and businesses in the Town of Caledon when construction is completed in March 2022.

“At a time when people are depending more on broadband to access the internet, our government is delivering on its commitments with SWIFT projects in Dufferin-Caledon,” said Sylvia Jones, MPP Dufferin-Caledon. “It's essential that we continue to expand access to broadband in our community as reliable high-speed internet has become a vital tool for use by residents and businesses on a daily basis.” 

The contracts to expand fibre-optic broadband services in the Town of Caledon and Dufferin County were awarded by SWIFT Inc., a not-for-profit corporation initiated by local municipalities to address connectivity in Southwestern Ontario.

To date, 5,700 households and businesses in Southwestern Ontario have received access to improved broadband through SWIFT. 

“With construction now underway in Dufferin County and new fibre connections being made in Caledon, today's announcement marks yet another milestone for SWIFT and our partners as the program continues to drive forward with its regional broadband expansion plan,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “We would like to thank the federal and provincial governments for their ongoing support as we continue to work together to accelerate the expansion of broadband infrastructure across Southwestern Ontario.” 

Caledon has long dealt with connectivity issues for residents in more rural areas of the Town, which were only felt more throughout the pandemic, and Mayor Allan Thompson has made improvements a focal point since he took office.

“When we made access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet a Council priority in 2016 we knew, given the geographic size of Caledon, it would be a monumental task,” he said. “Today, I am proud that that we made some critically important decisions early on that moved this forward sooner than anticipated. They included: a dedicated broadband levy, joining SWIFT and developing partnerships with service providers. There are still areas that are in need of fibre infrastructure, and we won't stop until we reach our goal of a fully connected Caledon.”

Efforts continue to bridge the gaps in broadband access in Southwestern Ontario, as part of a combined public and private sector investment of more than $255 million to bring fast, reliable, and affordable internet to thousands of homes and businesses. This will allow communities to attract new development, strengthen local economies, and create more well-paying jobs and opportunities in rural Ontario. 

Post date: 2021-08-12 11:16:30
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