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Broadband connectivity projects celebrated in Middlesex and Lambton

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The latest stage in a series of two-year projects connecting rural areas of Lambton County to broadband internet has been completed, said the head of the organization behind a plan to upgrade the network. regional Internet infrastructure.

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“In total, in Lambton County, you will have just over 5,000 premises” connected to high-speed internet by the end of 2023 through the Southwestern Integrated Fiber Technology project, said SWIFT Executive Director Barry Field. , “which is exceptional”.

Field was part of a group in Thedford on September 23 that included Provincial Labor Minister and Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MLA Monte McNaughton and London West MP Arielle Kayabaga, representing Federal Infrastructure Minister Dominic LeBlanc, came together to celebrate the completion of recent upgrade projects at Lambton Des Rives that connected 1,300 families, farms and businesses.

“Including the Widder Station Golf Club where we are today,” said Strathroy-Caradoc Mayor Joanne Vanderheyden, also a SWIFT board member.

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Funding has also been highlighted for Middlesex County’s SWIFT projects, due to complete later this year or next May, to connect around 300 properties in Kerwood, Strathroy, Napperton, Ballymote and Melrose, officials said .

“After the last two and a half years, we all know how incredibly important (the internet) is to us,” Vanderheyden said, noting that it’s essential for services like banking and job search.

“It is vitally important that residents continue to have access to fast, reliable and affordable broadband service.”

The combined cost of the six Lambton and seven Middlesex SWIFT projects is around $32 million, Field said, with internet service providers like Execulink, Cogeco and Brooke-Telecom covering around 50%.

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The federal and provincial governments shared the rest equally, he said, except for the $2.5 million that Lambton County Council added when funding ran out to ensure that the Petrolia and Wyoming area project would continue.

In total, SWIFT’s 97 projects in 18 counties and municipalities, which connect just under 64,000 premises, are half complete, Field said, noting that the deadline to complete is June 30, 2023.

“So we’re kind of in the final stages right now,” he said.

In 2021, the provincial and federal governments announced that all rural households in Ontario would have access to high-speed Internet by the end of 2025, and that the governments would be equal partners in a $1.2 billion investment. dollars for this purpose.

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