Halton Region launches study to develop high-speed Internet in rural areas

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With recent news that rural communities in northwestern Ontario received funding for the development of a new fibre optic network and the progress we’re seeing with the SWIFT initiative in southwestern Ontario, it’s clear that reliable, affordable high-speed Internet is crucial to healthy economic growth.

The federal government is providing $4 million and Bell Canada is investing approximately $1.3 million in northwestern Ontario. The serviced areas will include Stratton, Minahico, Madsen, the Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation, the Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing, and Kejick.

Now, Halton Region has commenced a Rural Broadband Study to assess the Internet services in rural parts of Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton, and Oakville.

You may not think of these places as rural, but the further northwest you go in all these municipalities, you’ll discover non-urban areas where farmers, families, and businesses are attempting to compete on a local and global scale. Without reliable high-speed access they will fall behind.  

Residents, farmers, and business owners are invited to take the Rural Internet Survey to help the Region better understand the availability of broadband connections, the consistency and availability of the connections, and the cost of services.   

The findings will help inform recommendations to Regional Council about improving telecommunications infrastructure and services in these areas.

In order for agricultural technology to advance, a connection to high-speed Internet is crucial! Everything from sensors to artificial intelligence requires the transfer of data via a network. The faster and more affordable the connection, the more efficient the farm will be.