Region of Waterloo joins SWIFT as full partner, contributing $2.2 million to build Internet broadband for everyone

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The Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Network continues to gain momentum and gather support in advance of its official procurement process launching this May as the project moves toward realizing its goal of building critical fibre-optic broadband infrastructure across Southwestern Ontario, Caledon and Niagara Region.

Tonight, the Region of Waterloo joined SWIFT as a full partner, contributing $2.2 million in funding towards the project. This partnership follows $180 million in combined investments by the federal and provincial governments and over five years of committed collaboration and investment by 18 municipalities. This funding supports the expansion of access to broadband by delivering fibre optic coverage to over 350 communities across Southwestern Ontario, as well as Caledon, Orillia and Niagara Region. Partnership with the Region of Waterloo now means that more than 4 million Ontarians will be connected by modern Internet infrastructure under the SWIFT initiative.

“We have experienced firsthand the incredible opportunities created by technology here in the Region of Waterloo and we know that residents, business and  industries rely on broadband in today’s fast-paced connected world,” said Region of Waterloo Regional Chair Ken Seiling. “Supporting SWIFT makes sense for ensuring the current and future vitality of our communities and economy and ensures that everyone across the Region will have better access. We look forward to working with our partners at SWIFT as we pursue an innovative, sustainable, and prosperous future for the entire Region.”

“Ultra-high speed Internet connectivity is vital to economic development and quality of life in our communities and the Region of Waterloo is an important hub of technological innovation not only regionally in Southwestern Ontario, but also for Canada and North America,” said SWIFT Board Chair Gerry Marshall. “Having the Region of Waterloo join SWIFT as a full member before we begin our official procurement process on May 12th underscores the importance of this initiative as we work to connect everyone who lives, works, and plays in Western Ontario and Niagara Region.”

“We are thrilled to welcome the Region of Waterloo on board as a full partner in building broadband for everyone,” said SWIFT Executive Director Geoff Hogan. “The Region of Waterloo is an incredible example of the social and economic impact of technological innovation. Building better connectivity for the entire region will increase the potential for economic growth and diversification by helping all of our communities and businesses better compete in global markets, attract new jobs and new talent, and improve quality of life through better services.”

In addition to leadership from the county members of the Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus and investment from the federal and provincial governments, the Region of Niagara, Town of Caledon, and City of Orillia are also supporting the project. Non-municipal members include Grey Bruce Health Services, Georgian College, and the Stratford Economic Enterprise Development Corporation. First Nations supporters include the Southern First Nations Secretariat, the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation and Walpole Island First Nation.

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.

SWIFT has set May 12, 2017 as the target date to launch the first stage in its procurement process, beginning with a two-stage Request for Pre-Qualification Process. For more information about the procurement process and to stay up to date on how SWIFT will build broadband for everyone in Southwestern Ontario, Caledon, and Niagara Region, please visit www.swiftnetwork.ca and sign-up for the SWIFT mailing list at www.swiftnetwork.ca/contactServices, Georgian College, and the Stratford Economic Enterprise Development Corporation. First Nations supporters include the Southern First Nations Secretariat, the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation and Walpole Island First Nation.

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.

SWIFT will be issuing the first stage in its procurement process on May 12, 2017, beginning with a two-stage Request for Pre-Qualification Process. For more information about the procurement process and to stay up to date on how SWIFT will build broadband for everyone in Southwestern Ontario, Caledon, and Niagara Region, please visit www.swiftnetwork.ca and sign-up for the SWIFT mailing list at www.swiftnetwork.ca/contact

 

For more information, please contact Ashleigh Weeden, Communications Manager, at ashleigh.weeden@swiftnetwork.ca or 226.256.1640 or visit www.swiftnetwork.ca