SWIFT sends out request for broadband expansion in Huron County

Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology, or SWIFT, has released a request for proposals for $7.2 million to expand broadband access in Huron County.

Huron County Warden and Western Wardens Char Jim Ginn said this round of funding definitely won’t get everyone connected and for that reason, they’re actively looking for funding from the senior levels of government.

“So we have a lobbying effort that we’re undertaking on behalf of the Western Ontario Wardens Caucus and we’ll implement that very shortly,” said Ginn. “Right now we’re looking at about a third of the cost being subsidized. When we get into the lesser and lesser populated areas, that will need to go up to about 83 per cent subsidy, so quite a substantial amount of money to service some of the low-density areas.”

Both the federal and provincial governments have declared broadband an essential service.

Ginn added some areas will have to be serviced by towers, but that’s not really a long-term solution.

Ginn said once the fibre is in the ground, it’s possible to get up to higher speeds more effectively than by using towers and wireless broadband.