In July 2016, the Province announced that the Ontario and Federal Governments would each invest up to $90 million toward the Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) project. This fibre-optic network will improve high-speed Internet connectivity across southwestern Ontario when complete. Six months following the SWIFT announcement, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) declared broadband internet a basic telecommunications service. As such, the national regulator ordered the country’s internet providers to begin working toward boosting internet service and speeds in rural and isolated areas such as Fort Erie.
Spearheaded by community and businesses leaders across southwestern Ontario, Caledon, and Niagara Region, SWIFT will build an ultra-high-speed fibre optic regional broadband network for everyone. The Town has been working with the Region of Niagara to help identify key areas throughout Fort Erie that are in need of broadband infrastructure. Priority areas in Niagara will be brought forward to SWIFT. Thus far, a Request for Prequalification (RFPQ) has been completed, which identified existing fibre deployment in the Region and determined which organizations are eligible to bid on the SWIFT proposal. The first phase of the project (deployment) is scheduled to be released before the end of the year. It includes a Request for Proposal (RFP) to construct the core infrastructure. The second phase (expanded deployment) is scheduled for mid-2018, with deployment targeted by the end of 2018.
For more on the SWIFT project: http://swiftnetwork.ca/