UPDATE: Expanding broadband in Huron County

(File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / gunnar3000)

More than 1,850 homes and businesses of Huron County are one step closer to reliable internet access with the signing of ten contracts for broadband infrastructure.

The governments of Canada and Ontario each committed up to $2.4 million to create more economic and educational opportunities in rural areas of Huron County.

Networks are expected to be up and running with service to start in February 2022.

“In rural Ontario, we know good internet access is a gateway to growth,” said Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson. “This is great and timely news that will connect more than 1,850 households and businesses in Huron County to high speed internet. We have adjusted to working and learning from home during the pandemic, and this broadband expansion will be key to our recovery and future success.”

The contracts to expand fibre-optic broadband services in Huron County were awarded by Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc.

“Expanding broadband access throughout Southwestern Ontario is essential to the economic recovery and long-term prosperity of our region,” said Barry Field, Executive Director, SWIFT.  “Today in partnership with the Governments of Ontario and Canada, we are pleased to announce that SWIFT has awarded $15 million in contracts to bring greater access to high-speed internet throughout Huron County.  Once complete, the newly awarded projects will deliver long-term sustainable broadband solutions to further support online learning, work from home opportunities and unlock greater economic growth potential for businesses.”

Four local companies will carry out projects locally over the next three years.

Tuckersmith Communications has been awarded funding to support five fibre-to-the-home projects. The newly awarded projects will collectively service 131 kilometres of underserved roadway to bring high-speed internet to 465 homes and businesses within the municipalities of Central Huron, Huron East and Morris-Turnberry. The projects represent a collective total investment of $3.9 million and will be completed by early 2023, with some project areas expected to be up and running with service starting in early 2022.

HuronTel has been awarded funding to support three fibre-to-the-home projects. The newly awarded projects will collectively service 110 kilometres of underserved roadway to bring high-speed internet to 487 homes and businesses within the municipalities of Central Huron, Morris-Turnberry and throughout the Township of North Huron. The projects represent a collective total investment of $4.8 million and will be completed with service available by mid 2023.

Wightman Telecom was awarded a contract to deploy fibre-optic cabling along 24 kilometres of underserved roadway within the Township of Howick to bring high-speed internet access to 668 households and businesses. Construction of the $3.7 million fibre-to-the-home solution is expected to be completed with service available by early 2022.

SWIFT has signed an agreement with Hay Communications to deploy fibre cabling along more than 70 kilometres of underserved roadway within the Municipality of South Huron to deliver high-speed internet to 234 businesses and homes. Construction of the $2.7 million fibre-to-the-home solution is expected to be completed with service available by early 2022.