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High-speed Internet projects completed in Oxford County

May 9, 2024

Several high-speed internet projects in Oxford County have been completed.

Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) has announced what it called the marking of a pivotal achievement in the advancement of broadband infrastructure in the area.

With a combined investment of $10.5 million, SWIFT, in partnership with the county and local service providers, has extended high-speed internet service to 1,718 homes and businesses that previously lacked access. These network expansion projects promise significant benefits, including enhanced educational opportunities, better healthcare access and increased potential for remote work for residents and businesses throughout Oxford County.

“The completion of the network expansion under the SWIFT initiative in Oxford County represents a significant leap forward in our ongoing mission to advance digital infrastructure throughout the region,” said Barry Field, SWIFT executive director. “Through strategic collaboration with our partners and a combined investment of $10.5 million, SWIFT has extended vital internet services to nearly 2,000 homes and businesses, enhancing connectivity and fostering economic growth. This achievement exemplifies the power of collective action in building more connected and prosperous communities in southwestern Ontario.”

“Connected people and places are central to our ability to build strong, vibrant communities with high-speed connectivity, in particular, enabling our rural areas to fully participate in the social, educational, cultural and economic opportunities around them,” said county warden Marcus Ryan. “As we reach the completion of our goals under this program, we extend our thanks to past councils who supported this work, the other municipalities we’ve partnered alongside and the board and staff of SWIFT. Oxford County’s partnership with SWIFT has been transformational for so many of our residents and businesses.”

One of the initiatives involved was the Fibre-to-the-Home Project with Execulink Telecom. They were able to expand service along more than 60 kilometres of underserved roadway. These projects have provided high-speed internet access to 816 homes and businesses across various communities, including Hickson and Huntingford.

Quadro Solutions has completed the construction of two fiber-optic projects in the county. It covered over 118 kilometers of rural roadway and gave high-speed internet access to 418 rural homes and businesses across the communities of Kintore, Fairview, Maplewood, Brooksdale, Youngsville, Bennington, Braemar and their surrounding areas.

These completed projects represent a significant investment in digital infrastructure and underscore SWIFT’s commitment to bridging the digital divide, promoting economic growth and improving the quality of life for residents and businesses in Oxford County and surrounding areas.

Oxford County was on the receiving end of $10.5 million in broadband upgrades, with over $5.7 million contributed by service providers.

SWIFT is a non-profit regional broadband project initiated by the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus to subsidize the construction of high-speed broadband networks across southwestern Ontario, Caledon and the Niagara Region.

The project was approved for funding up to $127.4 million under the New Building Canada Fund – Small Communities Fund, a joint federal and provincial infrastructure funding program, and leverages additional funding from municipal partners and private-sector investors to bring improve access to broadband services across the region.

Lee Griffi, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Wilmot-Tavistock Gazette