High Speed Broadband

The Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (WOWC) has recognized that universal access to high-speed broadband connectivity is fundamental to the continued relevance and future prosperity of small urban/rural communities in Southwestern Ontario.

The WOWC Economic Development Strategic Plan recognizes the significance of broadband connectivity to enabling communities in Southwestern Ontario to compete in the globalized economy.

Broadband has become an essential service that is necessary to encourage economic growth and stability, modernize and streamline the delivery of health and social services, provide greater educational opportunities, increase capacity to administer and govern institutions, improve the environment, and create fairness and opportunity for everyone.

To address broadband service gaps throughout the region, Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) was initiated in 2011 by the combined connectivity interests of the WOWC.

Delivered in partnership with member municipalities and the government of Ontario and Canada, SWIFT is committed to improving access to high-speed internet services across Southwestern Ontario.

The WOWC is pleased to share that Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) has now successfully completed the procurement phase of its program and has delivered outstanding results by surpassing all its targeted goals, including:

  • premises passed (+27%)
  • fibre kilometres of roadway served (+33%)
  • total infrastructure investment (+36%)

Furthermore, the SWIFT program has now awarded contracts for 95 projects, totaling $268 million, in broadband infrastructure improvements, which represents:

  • an increase of 36% (or $71 million) in the program’s overall total infrastructure investment budget
  • the availability of high-speed internet access to 63,254 households and businesses across the region by 2023

The WOWC remains supportive of the SWIFT model and is actively involved in SWIFT governance through our 15 WOWC appointments to the SWIFT Board and through SWIFT’s regular and ongoing dialogue with the WOWC Caucus and its CAOs.