How does broadband for everyone help address the housing crunch?

billboard road sign with text "competitve advantage straight ahead"

In a blog-post yesterday, Keith Currie, President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, posted a valuable perspective on how rural Ontario can and should be a critical part of the solution to the current housing crunch in the GTHA:

The solution lies in increasing investment in our rural areas to strengthen communities and provide new economic opportunities for families. Infrastructure investments like widespread broadband, access to affordable energy with natural gas and increased social infrastructure including local schools and medical care are needed to attract new businesses and new residents. – Keith Currie, President – Ontario Federation of Agriculture (*emphasis added)

Here at SWIFT, we’re proud to have Brent Royce represent the Ontario Federation of Agriculture on our Board of Directors – and we strongly agree with President Currie’s statement.

We believe that #buildingbroadbandforeveryone will enable a virtuous cycle for both rural and urban communities. Better internet connectivity means that people won’t have to leave rural communities to access educational or career opportunities – and it means that cities won’t face the consequences of overburdened infrastructure that was never intended and cannot be adapted to support the demands of an exponentially increasing urban influx.

Addressing the housing crunch in the GHTA is not an solely an urban issue – and it provides an excellent test-case for how we can imagine a way forward that recognizes rural and urban communities as part of the same economic ecosystem. We believe creating a sustainable way forward for rural and urban Ontarians relies on the extension and adoption of modern broadband infrastructure to rural communities in order to support innovative agricultural and food production throughsmart equipment and data management, create opportunities for a more geographically distributed knowledge workforce through virtual education, promote healthy communities through tele-medicine and appropriately scaled development, and ensure that everyone has access to opportunities to work from anywhere.

We’re committed to investing nearly $300 million in building #broadbandforeveryone across southwestern Ontario, Caledon, and Niagara Region – and we’re committed to ensuring the entire region has access to exactly the kind of modern infrastructure that will help support long-term prosperity and exceptional quality of life.

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