The Southwest Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) urges the city of Orillia in Central Ontario, Canada to join their network. Orillia city council had discussed the pros and cons of joining the high-speed telecommunication network that use fiber optic technology to deliver high bandwidth services. Some of the city councilors raised their concern on the benefits of joining the SWIFT network. While most of the councilors are convinced of the benefits of joining the fiber initiative, clarifications on the advantages of SWIFT networks instead of other fiber optic networks in the region. Councilors, who knows about the benefits of the project answered the concerns raised during the council meeting.
Organizers of the SWIFT project seeks Canadian dollar 10,000 in interim funding towards an initiative. SWIFT project targets to connect all rural areas and pushes city councils in an attempt to ensure and provide high-speed broadband services to all citizens that are essential for today’s nation-building. If we want to reduce the digital divide, high-speed broadband services should be uniformly available in cities, towns and rural areas. SWIFT network is an initiative to realize this target.
The investment in fiber optic networks today will ensure the availability of services to the communities in the future. Fiber optic networks are scalable and future-proof, meaning, the network remains in place while only some of the components need to be upgraded to update when new technologies emerge.
The SWIFT Initiative is based on the principle that everyone in Western Ontario deserves access to high-speed Internet, regardless of the size of their community, their age, education, or where they work. Under the leadership of the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus, SWIFT will create an affordable, open-access, ultra-high-speed fiber optic regional broadband network for everyone in Western Ontario. The supporters of SWIFT are applying for $162 million dollars in funding matched by $81 million contributed by supporters and telecommunications service providers for a total of $240 million.
Ultra-high speed Internet connectivity is critical to rural economic development and Southwestern Ontario is another step closer to seeing the development of a project that will have a major impact on the region’s current and future vitality.
The SWIFT project has also been gathering support across the region, with the Stratford Economic Enterprise Development Corporation (SEED Co.) and the Grey Bruce Health Services both committing $10,000 in funding to support the realization of an ultra-high speed fiber-optic regional broadband network. In addition, the project has received several dozen letters of support from school boards, separated municipalities, hospital networks, businesses, residents, and telecommunications service providers. These letters were submitted along with the funding application to demonstrate the growing grassroots support for the SWIFT initiative.
Orillia is a city located in Central Ontario, Canada, between Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe, 135 kilometers north of Toronto. Incorporated as a village in 1867, the history of City of Orillia dates back several thousand years. Orillia is also known as the “Sunshine City”. the city’s large waterfront attracts many tourists to the area every year, as do a good number of annual festivals and other cultural attractions. Overall economic activity in Orillia is a mixture of many different industries including manufacturing, government services, customer service, and tourism.
Average deployment cost for fiber optic cable network is around 25,000 Canadian dollars. Today, all aspects of the economy from agriculture to education to manufacturing requires high-speed connectivity. Broadband is becoming more like utility and many countries have considered broadband as an essential right of every citizen. Yet in many countries and also in Canada, there is no government initiative to build a nationwide fiber optic project.
SWIFT will use funds from the federal and provincial governments as an incentive for the private sector to establish fiber optic infrastructure in locations where they don’t get a real return on investment. The private sector will pay royalties back to SWIFT, which will use that pot of capital to encourage additional investments in fiber optics. The project was initiated by the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus, a non-profit organization comprising the heads of the council from 15 rural municipalities. Partnering in the initiative is the Southwest Economic Alliance, with representation from counties and cities, schools, the private and public sectors. The network will cost about $243 million, with organizers seeking $81 million each from the federal and provincial governments.
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