Funding will help more than 480 homes, farms and businesses gain access to broadband
December 09, 2021
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
TORONTO – As part of the Ontario government’s plan to build Ontario and its commitment to connect every community to high speed internet by the end of 2025, construction is underway on a new infrastructure network in Oxford County. This $1.52 million project will soon provide more than 480 homes, farms and businesses in the communities of Drumbo and Gobles with access to high-speed internet services by April 2022.
The project will help ensure that farms and businesses will have the ability to attract new customers, grow their business, create new jobs and stay competitive in an increasingly digital marketplace. It will also help people connect with family, friends and their communities in easier and faster ways than before.
The expanded fibre-optic service is supported by the Governments of Canada and Ontario, each committing up to $349,000. The contracts to expand broadband services in the communities of Drumbo and Gobles were awarded by Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc, a not-for-profit corporation, initiated by local municipalities to address connectivity in Southwestern Ontario.
“The last year and a half underlined the importance of ensuring every Canadian household has access to a reliable broadband connection,” said the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “Through our partnership with Ontario, our government is connecting families and businesses across Oxford County so they can stay in touch with their loved ones, reach new customers and access essential services.”
“Our government made access to high speed internet a major priority for rural Ontario and we are delivering on that commitment,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “The pandemic really showed us the importance of being connected to high-speed broadband. Families and businesses in these communities and throughout rural Ontario, need these services to do their work – whether it’s schoolwork of running a business. This is the type of critical infrastructure that benefits the entire community.”
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.
“It is great to see broadband expansion in the Gobles and Drumbo communities,” said Ernie Hardeman, MPP for Oxford. “Today’s announcement brings us one step closer to ensuring everyone in Oxford gets access to reliable internet service.”
“Together with the governments of Ontario and Canada we are pleased to mark the start of construction on a fibre-optic network in Oxford County that will bring high-speed connectivity to more than 480 underserved homes and businesses within the communities of Drumbo and Gobles,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “Once complete the newly established network will provide the communities and residents with positive long-term social and economic benefits.”
- 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 Ontario government is committing nearly $4 billion in broadband infrastructure to connect every region of the province with access to high-speed internet by the end of 2025. This proactive approach is the largest single investment in high-speed internet, in any province, by any government in Canadian history.
- The Province has invested in initiatives to improve connectivity across Eastern and Southwestern Ontario. It has also invested in broadband projects through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation and the Next Generation Network Program.
- Expanding access to broadband and cellular service is part of Ontario Onwards: Ontario’s COVID-19 Action Plan for a People-Focused Government, which includes more than 30 projects that are changing the way people and businesses interact with government.