The $2.1-million drive to serve Turkey Point and Normandale with high-speed internet is complete.
Parties to the project have announced the completion.
“This is great news,” Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett said May 25. “Now, more than ever, robust broadband is essential all over Ontario. This government recognizes that homes are offices as much as being places to live; we are making Haldimand-Norfolk homes places to thrive in business and optimize personal and recreational internet uses.”
Barrett is referring, in part, to the rapid evolution of homes into workplaces following the declaration of the COVID-19 global pandemic last year. Many workers have been forced to adapt. High-speed internet has been an indispensable tool in this transition, not only for employees but for students and online education, as well.
The provincial and federal governments teamed up with the SWIFT consortium to install high-speed fibre-optic cable in Turkey Point and Normandale. The project involves more than 900 households and businesses. The senior levels of government each contributed $690,000 toward the infrastructure, which was installed by Execulink of Delhi.
The upgrade means a big change in the internet experience in this part of Norfolk. In Turkey Point, internet was delivered to most properties over copper phone lines prior to the installation.
Members of the South-Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus – including Norfolk County – established the SWIFT initiative several years ago. SWIFT stands for South-Western Integrated Fibre Technology Inc. Members pooled their resources out of fear that rural Ontario was being left behind in the drive to install high-speed internet elsewhere, potentially costing outlying areas jobs, investment and growth.
The provincial and federal governments have each committed $63 million to the SWIFT initiative. Barrett’s office reports 3,190 households to date have been connected to high-speed internet through SWIFT projects.
“The construction of broadband infrastructure in the communities of Turkey Point and Normandale is complete, and more people in Norfolk now have access to fast, reliable internet service,” Ernie Hardeman, Oxford MPP and Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, said in a news release. “This is an important step forward in our plan to deliver broadband that supports better educational opportunities, attracts more businesses, and creates jobs in Norfolk County.”