Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece joined federal and provincial government representatives and representatives of the Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology at C&M Seeds in Palmerston Friday morning to announce the official opening of the request-for-proposals process for up to $12.1 million in broadband infrastrucutre upgrades across Wellington County. Submitted photo
The Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) is officially accepting bids from internet service providers for up to $12.1 million in broadband infrastructure upgrades across Wellington County.On Friday, Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece joined Ontario Infrastrucutre Minister Laurie Scott and SWIFT chair David Mayberry in Palmerston to make the announcement.“I’m pleased to announce the RFP for new, better broadband infrastructure in Wellington County,” Pettapiece said in a press release. “Today, it is so important for residents and businesses in this community and across rural Ontario to have fast and reliable access to the internet. Our government is making this a reality.”
Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece speaks at the broadband infrastructure announcement in Palmerston Friday morning. Submitted image
Once complete, the infrastructure upgrade project will improve the ability of communities and businesses in Wellington County to compete in global markets, attract new jobs and improve the quality of life for residents.“Too many people, especially those living in rural and remote communities, do not have access to reliable internet,” Scott said in a press release. “It means they can’t work from home, stay connected to family and friends, or access public services such as health care and education. In our increasingly digital world, being disconnected means being disadvantaged. This must change.”The request for proposals has been issued by SWIFT, a not-for-profit corporation initiated by local municipalities to address connectivity issues in Southwestern Ontario. Pre-qualified internet service providers have been invited to submit network proposals aimed at connecting business facilities, public buildings and homes in underserved areas in Wellington County.“Today’s announcement marks a major milestone in our project as we continue to work in partnership with the government to support the expansion of affordable, high-speed internet in rural Ontario,” Mayberry, an Oxford County councillor, said in a press release. “Dedicated investment in broadband infrastructure is critical to the economic and social prosperity of Southwestern Ontario.”In addition to today’s announcement, the government recently announced a request for proposals for up to $8.3 million in broadband infrastructure to improve access to high-speed internet in Norfolk County, as well as a request for proposals for $11.2 million to help improve high-speed internet access in Lambton County. This funding is part of the $63.7 million the province committed to SWIFT earlier this spring.