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5 reasons why swift is crucial for regional development and rural innovation in SW Ontario

This is a summary that focuses on five reasons why the Southwest Integrated Fibre Technology network (known as SWIFT) is an important initiative for regional development and rural innovation in Ontario, Canada.

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5 reasons why swift is crucial for regional development and rural innovation in SW Ontario

  1. 1. 5 Reasons Why SWIFT is Crucial for Regional Development and Rural Innovation in Southwestern Ontario A Summary for Communities, Businesses, Municipalities, Public Services and Research SWIFT = Southwest Integrated Fibre Network, a high and ultra high speed broadband network in Southwestern Ontario proposed by 16 counties of the Western Ontario Wardens Caucus and outlined in detail in the SWIFT Regional Broadband Feasibility Study (WOWC 02-12 May 2014). Ultra High Speed Regional Broadband For Everyone
  2. 2. #1: The ‘Internet of Everything’ Rural communities and their economic sector, especially services, manufacturing and agri- food, require ultra-high speed connectivity to access to their supply chains, commodity markets, marketing boards and other sales, purchasing, banking and employment opportunities. Now, and for future sustainability and growth, all of rural Ontario needs and expects to access on-line services for healthcare, education, and government.
  3. 3. #2: Data Drives Modern Farming and Rural Employment Farmers and rural business owners make decisions strategically and often in pressing circumstances. Software, apps and data repositories are increasingly stored and shared on remote servers (in the cloud). Video interactions (voice over Internet, web-based meetings, etc.) and e-commerce are increasing. Embedded devices to track everything from soil temperature and moisture content to livestock location and condition are proliferating on the farm. This ‘big data’ requirement is beyond the capacity of current connectivity. When it comes to accessing and managing big data in real time, scalable, highly available connections to the farm gate are required. Fibre optic connectivity is the answer because it delivers the symmetrical, highly available, and scalable service necessary to support these apps and accomplish the analysis…saving the time and money farmers need to stay competitive. As well, Ontario small and medium size businesses adjust their expectations (and productivity) because they can't have this level of connectivity, and even if it is available, studies indicate it is often more costly or less reliable than their peers in the 905 region (Greater Toronto Area to Hamilton, Ontario) and around the world.
  4. 4. #3: Potential Business Opportunities for Smaller, Local ISPs Southwestern Ontario has small, independent and local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Applications Services Providers (ASPs) who are important stakeholders rural broadband. They are valued companies because they typically offer excellent service to loyal consumers and support local employment. While these providers represent less than 20% of the population and coverage area of SWIFT they have the potential to be an important part of the open access (open to all) consortium proposed by SWIFT. These companies may even find new business opportunities such as cable/copper/wireless(as well as fibre) to the premise.
  5. 5. #4: With Increased Competition the Cost of Ultra-High Speed Internet in Rural Areas Comes Down and Service Improves The current fibre network in SW Ontario (which make up what is often referred to as an Internet backbone) and the arrangements (or ‘peering’) for traffic on it is crucial to understanding why rural organizations and consumers pay relatively high Internet prices and have access to one or a very few providers. SWIFT enables affordable access to the Point of Presence (POP), low contractual and technical barriers to entry and Internet diversity. SWIFT will result in more competition on the network backbone from national carriers on a wholesale basis and local providers will compete in access layer or local level.
  6. 6. #5: SWIFT supports “the last mile” of connectivity to areas currently unserved or underserved by Internet Service Providers Without the ‘last mile’ of connectivity user demand is unmet and productivity gains are lost. Property values may be adversely affected. The last mile in some areas of Southwestern Ontario often has to rely on fixed wireless technologies with slower upload/download speeds (asymmetrical service), cannot scale (or be adjusted to higher speeds) and is unreliable relative to fibre optic (due to such obstacles as tree cover, topography and weather). Fixed wireless lacks Service Level Agreements to monitor and ensure service quality. SWIFT will result in 310 POP locations ready for last mile connections. Any provider or user with existing or new last mile infrastructure may connect to these POPs, including local wireless and DSL providers. As well, any of the aggregation paths of fibre optic may be spliced into to provide a last mile connection, for example, when passing by a business or school site. The revenue generated and paid to the SWIFT network as fees will be reinvested with providers in infrastructure, principally for the last mile. The long term goal is to connect virtually every resident, farm, business, and public sector organization in SW Ontario by 2040. The short term goal is to offer 1 Gbps symmetrical connectivity for under $100 per month.
  7. 7. More information? Contact the Swift Network @networkswift SWIFT is a project of the WOWC ( ) to bring fibre based internet to all south west Ontario residents and businesses. 5 Reasons Why SWIFT is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Posted August 20, 2014 by: Dr. Helen Hambly, University of Guelph