Connecting Windsor-Essex (CW-E) has officially joined the Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) initiative, contributing significant positive momentum to the project as it moves forward. CW-E represents broader public sector organizations in the Windsor-Essex area, and CW-E joining SWIFT means its member organizations are now on board with SWIFT as the project works to build broadband for everyone.
CW-E began in 1994 as an information technology project, focused primarily on building an extensive high-speed fibre optic network that would bring world-class connectivity to several of the region’s leading institutions. CW-E was instrumental in our region’s selection as one of the world’s “Top Seven Intelligent Communities” in 2011, chosen by New York’s Intelligent Community Forum. This prestigious award recognized the region’s achievements in broadband deployment, creating and sustaining a knowledge-based workforce, digital inclusion, innovation, marketing and advocacy. Today, the organization has moved beyond the network itself and into support, development and sharing of innovative solutions that make our region a brilliant place in which to invest, work, learn, live and play. To learn more about CWE please visit www.cw-e.com
“Ultra-high speed Internet connectivity is vital to quality of life in our communities and our region’s public sector institutions are important partners as we work to connect everyone who calls our region home,” said SWIFT Board Chair Gerry Marshall. “SWIFT owes its success to the leadership and support of our members and we are grateful to receive the support of CW-E as they officially join SWIFT on behalf of their membership in Windsor-Essex.”
“These are exciting times for us,” said CW-E CEO Bob Campbell. “The CRTC recently declared broadband internet a basic telecommunications service. For too long, rural and underserved communities across Canada have not been able to participate in our digital economy. The CRTC decision, along with support from SWIFT, will help to close the digital divide.”
“It’s great news for SWIFT, Windsor-Essex, and for our entire region that CW-E is joining SWIFT as a member,” said SWIFT Executive Director Geoff Hogan. “Supporting SWIFT through membership means we will be better able to speak with a strong, unified voice for our broader public sector partners and help us ensure members like CW-E, and the communities they serve, receive the connectivity they need to thrive in the digital economy.”
The SWIFT Initiative is based on the principle that everyone 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, Caledon and Niagara Region. 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, City of Orillia, and the Region of Waterloo 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.
SWIFT launched the first stage in its procurement process on May 12, 2017 by releasing 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