The Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (WOWC) has a plan to bring high speed Internet to rural municipalities.
Appearing before Dufferin County council, Geoff Hogan, director of information technology for Grey County, explained WOWC has developed a blueprint to install fibre optic cabling throughout the region.
“Fibre runs at the speed of light,” Hogan said, noting copper wire is maxed at 1.5 mb per second. “Fibre is 100,000 lanes compared to one.”
The South Western Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) broadband network would deliver high-speed Internet to 310 communities in southwestern Ontario.
“The SWIFT network will get you back to the world,” Hogan said.
SWIFT would require $243 million to become a reality. The WOWC envisions the provincial and federal government’s contributing $81 million each, with municipalities paying $20 million and the private sector $61 million.
The caucus plans to focus on funding from the federal government, who recently announced $305 million in the next five years to bring broadband Internet service to rural communities. Member municipalities of the caucus are also asked to contribute $25,000 to help build a business plan for the network.
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