WELLINGTON COUNTY – Residents in 674 homes in Inverhaugh, Ponsonby and Ariss now have access to fast, reliable internet service, after the completion of a $2.7-million broadband infrastructure project.
The federal and provincial governments each committed more than $900,000 to the project, which they state will create “more economic and educational opportunities in rural, remote and underserved areas.”
One year ago, officials with Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT), a not-for-profit corporation initiated by municipalities to address connectivity issues, announced a total of $7.5 million in provincial and federal funding to support four broadband infrastructure projects across 15 under-served communities within Wellington County.
$1.7 million in funding from the federal and provincial governments was awarded to EHtel Networks to support the now-completed fibre/wireless hybrid project in Inverhaugh, Ponsonby and Ariss.
Also announced in a Jan. 28 press release, was the start of construction on a $1-million broadband infrastructure project to connect 283 more homes and businesses in Eden Mills. Both levels of government have each committed up to $270,000 to this project.
“I have been a long-time advocate for universal internet access and through this investment, I am happy to see that we are one step closer to achieving this goal,” said Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield.
“I am proud of the work our government has done, in collaboration with our partners, to work towards our goal of ensuring all Canadian homes and businesses across Canada are connected and have access to high-speed internet.”
Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, called the completion of the Ariss/Ponsonby/Inverhaugh project and the launch of the Eden Mills project “an important step forward in our plan to deliver broadband that supports better educational opportunities, attracts more businesses and create jobs in Wellington County.”
He added, “It’s extremely important that we continue to expand broadband connectivity for those living in rural and remote areas.”
Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott said he has worked with local municipal leaders “for many years … pushing for reliable, affordable high-speed internet” for rural residents.
“The pandemic has shown that internet is essential infrastructure,” said Arnott.
“We appreciate every step forward to connect our farms and rural residents.”
SWIFT board chair David Mayberry said, “Projects are now rolling out at an accelerated rate to bring residents online as quick as possible.”
The federal and provincial governments have committed more than $191 million to SWIFT initiatives.
For more information visit swiftruralbroadband.ca.