Canada and Ontario Increasing Access to High-Speed Internet Service in Essex County

January 9, 2024

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing over $5.3 million to bring reliable high-speed internet to 3,587 families, farms, and businesses in Essex County.

“In an increasingly digital age, investments toward reliable high-speed internet such as the one made into the project being celebrated today are also investments into the well-being of Canadians today and for generations to come,” Irek Kusmierczyk, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages and Member of Parliament of Windsor—Tecumseh, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities. “Having an internet connection increases opportunities for jobs and education for Canadians and increases their connectivity to others around the globe.”

The federal and provincial governments have partnered with Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc. to provide residents in the communities of Edgars, Gesto, Marshfield, Pleasant Valley, Arner, East Harrow, Ambassador Beach, Levergood Beach, Belcreft Beach, Comet, Seymour Beach, Lypps Beach, Mount Carmel, Wigle, Blytheswood, Oakland and Staples with access to broadband infrastructure that will enable high-speed internet service.

“Ontario continues to deliver on its commitment to expand access to high-speed internet to communities across the province,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “By installing new broadband infrastructure in Essex County, we’re building Ontario and strengthening rural communities. This investment is helping people stay in touch with loved ones, allowing families to connect with online services, and making it easier for businesses to reach potential customers.”

This announcement marks the completion of two more projects under SWIFT and builds on the Ontario government’s plan to get the right infrastructure in the right places – ensuring people can live, work and farm where they want.

“Bringing high-speed internet to underserved areas in Essex County is an investment that will bring new opportunities, allow families to connect, help students finish their homework, and create potential for growth,” said Anthony Leardi, MPP for Essex. “I am very pleased our government is expanding high-speed internet throughout rural Ontario.”

The contracts to expand broadband services in Essex County were awarded by SWIFT, a not-for-profit corporation initiated by local municipalities to address connectivity in Southwestern Ontario.

“As SWIFT continues to work with our community partners to expand high-speed internet in Essex County, we thank the governments of Ontario and Canada for their support,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “Connecting 3,587 homes and businesses, these projects represent a significant step towards digital inclusivity, fostering economic growth for a brighter, more connected future in Southwestern Ontario.”

More than $255 million has been invested by the governments of Canada and Ontario and the private sector to bring high-speed internet access to more than 63,000 homes and businesses in Southwestern Ontario through SWIFT by the end of 2023.

Quick Facts

  • 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.
  • The Ontario government is investing nearly $4 billion to bring high-speed internet access to every corner of the province by the end of 2025. This is the largest single investment in high-speed internet in Canadian history.
  • In July 2021, the governments of Canada and Ontario announced a historic agreement that will bring high-speed internet access to more than 280,000 Ontario households across the province through a joint investment totaling more than $1.2 billion.
  • Ontario launched a new interactive online map that shows where provincially funded high-speed internet projects are planned, currently under way, or have been recently completed in communities across the province. Ontarians can visit and search by address, community, or municipality to find out more about provincially funded high-speed internet projects and where high-speed internet service is currently available.

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