Ontario Construction News staff writer
Construction has started on a significant broadband infrastructure project on the Chippewas of Nawash Unceeded First Nation, to connect nearly 300 families to reliable high-speed internet.
Canada and Ontario are funding the project, in partnership with Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc.
“Reliable broadband infrastructure is a necessity for the growth and prosperity of rural, remote and Indigenous communities,” said Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “Our partnership with the Government of Ontario is ensuring homes and businesses in the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation community are able to have greater access to educational and employment opportunities, and improved access to Telehealth services.”
Both the federal and provincial governments have each contributed more than $429,000 for the project that is expected to be completed by June of 2023.
In a separate announcement last week, more than $1.68 million was committed to launch construction of enhanced broadband infrastructure in Elgin County to bring high-speed internet to more than 1,100 homes, farms and businesses.
“Reliable broadband infrastructure is a necessity for Canadian families and businesses in this increasingly connected world,” said local MP Peter Fragiskatos.
“The start of construction of new fibre technology and additional network infrastructure in Elgin County will be welcome news for households and businesses in the area. It also gets us one step closer to connecting all Canadians to high-speed internet by 2030.”
Both contracts were awarded by Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc., a not-for-profit corporation initiated by local municipalities to address connectivity in Southwestern Ontario.
Work to expand broadband services in the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, was awarded by More than $255 million has been invested by the governments of Canada and Ontario and the private sector to bring high-speed internet to more than 63,000 households and businesses in Southwestern Ontario.
“Having access to high-speed internet is key to unlocking economic and social opportunities in our highly connected world,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “And today we are pleased to announce, in partnership with our community partners and federal and provincial governments, the start of construction on a high-speed broadband infrastructure project in Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.”
In July 2021, the governments of Canada and Ontario announced an historic agreement that will deliver high-speed Internet to nearly 280,000 rural Ontario households in hundreds of communities across the province, through an equal federal-provincial investment totalling more than $1.2 billion.