At its first meeting of 2017, the Board of Directors for the SouthWestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Network approved the continued working relationship between SWIFT and the University of Guelph’s Regional and Rural Broadband (R2B2) Project.
“SWIFT has already fundamentally changed the way the public sector invests in broadband in Canada and by continuing to work with leading experts at the University of Guelph, we will be able to clearly and accurately demonstrate the return on that investment,” said SWIFT Board Chair Gerry Marshall. “Research support from the team at the R2B2 Project will help inform good policy decisions and smart investments at all levels of government as we work to connect more than 3.5 million people in southwestern Ontario, Caledon, and Niagara Region.”
“There are major gaps in available data about the economic and social impact of connectivity in Canada, particularly in rural communities,” said Dr. Helen Hambly of the University of Guelph. “Working with SWIFT has helped provide greater context to the challenges facing our region and we’re thrilled to continue supporting the development of the network.”
“The University of Guelph has been a valuable member of our team since 2011 and were critical to SWIFT securing funding,” said SWIFT Executive Director Geoff Hogan. “Research support from Dr. Hambly and her team will help us continue to develop our understanding of the current obstacles and opportunities facing Ontarians, particularly in terms of Internet service gaps, and will help demonstrate the importance of modern broadband infrastructure for our communities.”
Comprised of academic and technical experts from the University of Guelph, the University of Windsor, Ryerson University, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs, and other public and private partners, the R2B2 Project studies the return on investment in broadband in rural communities. For more information, please visit www.r2b2project.ca.
The SWIFT Initiative is based on the principle that everyone in Western Ontario deserves access to high-speed Internet, regardless of the size of their community, their age, education, or where they work. SWIFT will build an affordable, open-access, ultra-high-speed fibre-optic regional broadband network for everyone in southwestern Ontario and Niagara Region.