Cork provides SWIFT update to council

KENILWORTH – SWIFT progress has not been so swift in Wellington according to county councillor Campbell Cork.

In his verbal report to Wellington North council on July 8, Cork updated members on the Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology, Inc. (SWIFT) program to bring high speed internet to rural areas.

Cork said Wellington County intends to begin a pilot project this year.

The county would seek proposals for a scalable network which could include hubs every mile or so, he said.

“Internet providers have the opportunity to take on sections in biteable sizes.”

However what Cork found even more exciting is the potential for a group of neighbours to form a co-operative – which he described as reminiscent of 100 years ago when telephone companies were reluctant to provide service in rural areas.

“Neighbourhoods would string their own lines and install their own poles.”

He said that co-op approach may be what is needed now.

Councillor Steve McCabe asked if there was any start date for the service.

Cork said he believed efforts are being made to get various service providers on board. “I was happy to find out that Wightman (Telecom) is one of the providers which is on board with this.”

He added the request for proposals to get the infrastructure in place is in the works.

“We’ve been talking SWIFT for a long time, and it hasn’t been all that swift … I hope it will get swifter.”

Cork said “(access to the internet) is no longer a luxury, it’s the basics.”

McCabe agreed the internet is a requirement for agricultural businesses in this area.