Perth, Middlesex get broadband investment from provincial, federal governments


  • Council   Friday, May 13, 2022   

The governments of Canada and Ontario, in partnership with Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc, have completed construction on broadband networks that will soon support the launch of fast, reliable high-speed internet to connect more than 660 homes, businesses and farms in Perth and Middlesex counties. 

Both levels of government have invested more than $3.2 million in total to bring high-speed internet to Listowel, Amulree, Mennonite Corner, Ratzburg, Hampstead and Lisbon in Perth County, and Caradoc and Thames Centre in Middlesex County. The completion of these infrastructure projects, bring Ontario one step closer to delivering on its commitment to connect every community to high-speed internet by 2025, while also building stronger rural communities and laying the foundation for long-term economic growth. 

“Fast and reliable internet connection is vital to the growth and prosperity of all Canadian communities,” said Jennifer O’Connell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “Our government is working with the Government of Ontario to make it faster and easier for communities across Perth County and Middlesex County to connect with loved ones, customers, essential services, and the world.” 

“Our government is getting it done and delivering on its commitment to provide access to high-speed internet throughout rural Ontario,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Projects like these that connect more communities to high-speed internet are crucial to building a stronger Ontario by helping families and farmers stay in touch with loved ones, enabling them to access supports they need while providing a much-needed boost to the local economies.” 

“Raising a family, living or working in a rural community should not be a barrier to internet access,” said Randy Pettapiece, MPP for Perth-Wellington. “I’m extremely pleased that SWIFT is bringing this much-needed infrastructure to many businesses and residents in our community. These investments will bring new opportunities for these areas and builds on our government’s efforts to expand high-speed internet throughout Ontario.” 

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 63,000 households and businesses in Southwestern Ontario through SWIFT by the end of 2025. 

“With new high-speed fibre-optic connections now being made available through the SWIFT program in both the counties of Perth and Middlesex, today’s announcement marks yet another milestone for SWIFT and our partners as we move the region one step closer to a more connected Southwestern Ontario,” 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 to drive greater connectivity throughout Southwestern Ontario.”

Some quick facts about the investment: 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; they have each also contributed $500,000 to connect more than 290 homes, farms and businesses in Listowel, Amulree, Mennonite Corner, Ratzburg, Hampstead and Lisbon in Perth County; the governments of Canada and Ontario have each contributed more than $1 million to connect more than 370 homes, farms and businesses in the Caradoc and Thames Centre in Middlesex County.

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.