July 18, 2019

The Role of Southwestern Ontario Mid-Sized Cities in a Regional and Rural Broadband Partnership

Helen Hambly


How partnership helped bridge a technological gap.

Digital technologies, including the internet, have created a new age of regional economic development in Canada. Ultra-high-speed connections link mid-sized cities to one another—and more importantly, to surrounding areas.

As broadband becomes more available, new opportunities arise for connectivity to advance regional innovation. For example, telecommuting reduces the use of automobiles on the roads, resulting in less traffic congestion for other drivers for whom telecommuting is not an option.

This paper examines the role of Mid Sized Cities in regional and rural broadband initiatives. Drawing on data collected by the broadband investment program known as the SouthWestern Integrated Fibre Technology Inc. (SWIFT) network, this paper considers the importance of MSCs within the overall architecture of SWIFT, and the opportunities and challenges for MSCs in expanded networking and telecommunications infrastructure across Southwestern Ontario, Niagara, and Caledon.

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