High-speed internet expands in Elgin County with $1.7M boost

·2 min read

Ottawa and Queen’s Park are spending more than $1.7 million to expand high-speed internet access in Elgin County.

Rob Flack, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London and parliamentary assistant to the minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, announced on Friday the money to build broadband infrastructure will connect more than 1,100 homes, farms and businesses to high-speed internet.

“Think about a number of decades ago when we didn’t have hydro. This is basically, in today’s modern age, the very same thing.” Flack said in an interview.

“Connecting people with high-speed internet in parts of Ontario that can’t get it is vital in today’s day and age. It’s vitally important not only to the well-being of residents in rural Ontario but to businesses, farmers and municipalities alike.”

The federal and provincial governments, along with Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc., will allocate $616,000 for infrastructure to boost internet service access to 740 homes, farms and businesses in Tyrconnell, Duttona Beach, New Glasgow, Port Glasgow and Churchville this fall.

The remaining $1.1 million will do the same for 390 homes, farms and businesses in Iona, Iona Station, Lawrence Station and Southwold by December.

“We’re making headway, but there is a lot of work that has to be done,” West Elgin Mayor Duncan McPhail said of bringing high-speed internet access to residents across the region.

“And thank God we have the federal and provincial governments that are recognizing the need and are working towards funding this because it’s way past the municipalities to be able to fund these types of projects,” he said.

Friday’s announcement is part of the province’s plan to deliver internet connectivity to every community by 2025.

cleon@postmedia.com

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Calvi Leon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press