SWIFT offers “innovative, realistic & strong business model” for connecting Western Ontario

Welcome

Earlier this spring, the SWIFT Steering Committee commissioned a third-party review at the request of the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. The review, conducted by Dr. Reza Rajabiun, a research fellow with the Communication Technologies in the Information Society Research Group at the Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management at Ryerson University in Toronto and an expert in competition and regulatory policy, provides a strong endorsement of the SWIFT model and approach for building an ultra-high-speed fibre optic broadband network that will serve everyone in Western Ontario.

“SWIFT offers an innovative, realistic and strong business model for ensuring that Western Ontario can catch up, and potentially surpass, urban Canada in broadband infrastructure quality and affordability,” said Dr. Rajabiun. “It is in the opinion of this reviewer that SWIFT should be funded as a traditional infrastructure improvement initiative.”

In developing its business case, SWIFT enlisted the help of the municipal and infrastructure advisory team at BDO Canada LLP, which developed a detailed plan to ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of the SWIFT model. In their analysis of the project, BDO Canada LLP estimates that SWIFT’s Broadband Development Fund will generate $200-300 million in future funding for building next generation fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) networks in Western Ontario over the next 25 years, making SWIFT a sustainable source of funds for addressing gaps in FTTP access.

“We’re extremely pleased to receive Dr. Rajabiun’s review and validation of the model and approach we’ve taken with the SWIFT initiative,” said SWIFT Steering Committee Chair Gerry Marshall. “As an external, third-party review, Dr. Rajabiun’s objective analysis and comments demonstrate, without a doubt, that we have developed a strong business case and that the imperative for SWIFT is absolutely critical for everyone that lives, works and plays in Western Ontario.”

The SWIFT Initiative is based on the principle that everyone in Western Ontario deserves equitable access to fibre-optic connectivity to the internet, regardless of the size of their community, their age, education, or where they work. Under the leadership of the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus, SWIFT will create an affordable, open-access, ultra-high-speed fibre-optic regional broadband network for everyone in Western Ontario.

For more information about the SWIFT project, please visit swiftnetwork.ca or contact: