$180 million Government funding brings high-speed internet to Southwestern Ontario communities
August 9, 2016
Posted by: Jacqueline O'Hara
The governments of Canada and Ontario are committed to supporting innovation and encouraging economic activity that contributes to growing the middle class. That is why the federal and provincial governments are providing up to $180 million in joint funding to improve high-speed internet connectivity to over 300 communities in Southwestern Ontario.
The funding was announced by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Bob Chiarelli, Ontario Minister of Infrastructure.
Once complete, the SouthWestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) project will ensure that individuals from all walks of life have access to the new fibre optic network. From small-business owners and senior citizens to students and rural physicians, this project will significantly increase the potential for innovation and economic development across the region resulting in safer, more inclusive and more prosperous communities.
The total estimated project cost is $281 million. The governments of Canada and Ontario will each contribute up to $90 million through the New Building Canada Fund's Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component-Small Communities Fund. The Western Ontario Wardens' Caucus will be responsible for the remaining project costs.
The $1 billion Small Communities Fund supports priority infrastructure projects in communities across the country that have less than 100,000 residents.
In addition, Budget 2016 committed to deliver on the Government of Canada's priority of increasing high-speed broadband coverage by investing up to $500 million over five years, starting in 2016-2017, for a new program to extend and enhance broadband service in rural and remote communities.
"The Government of Canada's ongoing investments in broadband infrastructure are improving connectivity in communities across the country. By providing better access to a wider variety of online tools and resources, we are increasing the potential for economic growth and diversification in these communities, and are helping the middle class and those working hard to join it."
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
"This announcement will bring critical broadband infrastructure to the southwestern Ontario region. High-speed internet will connect people and businesses to the resources they need to compete in the global marketplace and strengthen our economy. Equipping the province with the tools they need to succeed is one of the ways we're helping to build Ontario up."
The Honourable Bob Chiarelli, Ontario Minister of Infrastructure
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