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Fibre expanding in west end of Southgate with multi-million dollar project

·2 min read

Government funding will enable private providers to expand broadband internet in the west end of the Township of Southgate.

The project will serve about 1,000 premises in Holstein, Varney, Orchardville, Maple Lane, Yeovil, Dromore, Tartan and Thistle.

The almost 60 km of roads served means a project value of $4.3 million, of which $2.7 million will come through SWIFT, which receives provincial and federal funding, as well as municipal support.

“This is major news,” Mayor John Woodbury remarked at last week’s council. “We’re pretty excited.”

Almost $17 million worth of projects were announced on Nov. 17 by SWIFT to bring high-speed internet to almost 4,000 households and businesses in Southgate, West Grey, and the municipality of Meaford and the townships of Chatsworth, and Georgian Bluffs.

EH!tel in Holstein will put in the “Dromore” project, which will be a hybrid of both fibre and wireless. The completion date is July 31, 2021

“We are very excited and proud to have been awarded these projects in our own backyard – the County of Grey!” said Antonius Peeters, President and CEO, EH!tel Networks.

Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) is a non-profit regional broadband project initiated by the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus to subsidize the construction of high-speed broadband networks across Southwestern Ontario, Caledon and the Niagara Region.

Those municipalities see high-speed internet as crucial to economic growth in the region.

Grey County Warden Paul McQueen said “access to reliable high-speed internet is vital to our future. It’s encouraging to know SWIFT projects will soon be underway, expanding this important infrastructure in Grey County.”

Mr. Peeters said in a press release, “since COVID, rural networks have been strained and overloaded. These projects will provide relief immediately and for the years to come.” Xplornet Communications Inc. was awarded three fibre-to-the-home projects in Meaford, West Grey, Chatsworth and Georgian Bluffs.

Wightman Telecom will receive funding to deploy fibre-optic cabling along 15 km of underserviced roads between Hanover and Durham.

GBTEL will receive funding to deploy fibre-optic cabling along about 4 km of underserviced roads in the municipality of Meaford.

M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald