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Severn Township is asking residents with slow internet to fill out survey

Andrew Philips

By Andrew Philips, Special to Postmedia Network

Severn Township wants to hear from its residents who might not have access to high-speed internet.

The township is asking those with both poor high-speed internet service or still using a dial-up option to complete a survey so it can identify areas of the township that are lacking sufficient service.

"If you don't put your foot out now, you won't get the service," Severn CAO Henry Sander said, noting the survey doesn't apply to those who have service, but just find the price too high.

"We want to hear from people affected by a lack of service so we can plot it on a GIS (geographic information system) map."

The survey is available on the township's website and was also earlier sent out with tax bills to ensure everyone can access a copy.

"It's been up since June," Sander said, noting the deadline to submit the survey is Dec. 31 with the findings going to the county to support its goal of trying to bring high-speed broadband to all areas of Simcoe.

The county is part of the Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Network. The not-for-profit organization has embarked on a long-term project to improve access to high-speed internet throughout southern Ontario.

The project recently received $180 million in federal and provincial funding and SWIFT is now collecting information about how residents, farms, businesses and public-sector organizations use internet in the region.

Information collected will help SWIFT determine priorities around where funding and support will be invested as it works to achieving its goals of efficiently and effectively building 'broadband for everyone.'

As well, SWIFT recently added another member with Middlesex County joining the fold, which increased the number of members of the Western Ontario Wardens' Caucus Inc. (WOWC) now involved in the initiative along with municipalities like Orillia and Caledon.

"We are pleased to celebrate the commitment of all 15 WOWC capital partners who are working together to address southwestern Ontario's critical connectivity challenges," SWIFT chair and Simcoe Warden Gerry Marshall said in a release.

"The more sites we have committed to the network, the more influence we will have with service providers and the more competitive the resulting network bids and build will be for participating members."

andrewphilips@live.ca



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