Huron Council Gets Update On SWIFT Project

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Huron County┬áCouncillor Roger Watt reported back to council today on his discussion with members of the Western Warden’s Caucus regarding the SWIFT program.

The South West Integrated Fibre Technology program was created to bring broadband service to all of the rural communities in Southwestern Ontario. The concern of many Huron County councillors was the degree to which local independent service providers who have already extended the service to much of Huron County, would be allowed to participate in the SWIFT program. Watt says he was encouraged by what he heard.

The federal and provincial governments are each providing 90-million dollars to the project, but to get that the SWIFT committee must be transparent and include all of the stakeholders in the decision-making and administration of the project, including giving local service providers a chance to bid on work in their county. Watt says he doesn’t want to speak for local providers, but he has asked council to invite them to respond to the meeting at a council meeting in September. Overall Watt says he believes progress is being made and it’s time for Huron County to get in the game.

The cost to Huron County to participate in the SWIFT project is $680,000 over the next five years. Huron will also have to pay $30,000 to bring this year’s dues up to date.