WELLINGTON COUNTY -- A $2 million broadband internet expansion in rural Wellington County is complete, bringing high-speed internet to more than 270 houses and businesses in the Yatton, Creek Bank and Goldstone communities.

“More people in Wellington now have access to fast, reliable internet service,” Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman (PC-Oxford) said in a release. "This is an important step forward in our plan to deliver broadband that supports better educational opportunities, attracts more businesses and create jobs in Wellington County.”

The expansion was led by the Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) project, a municipally-led, non-profit established by the Western Ontario Wardens' Caucus in 2014.

SWIFT subsidizes the construction of open-access internet networks to better serve rural areas in the region.

The non-profit is aiming to bring high-speed internet to more than 50,000 households and businesses in southwestern Ontario by 2024 as part of a $209-million expansion initiative.

Officials with SWIFT said expanding internet access to rural communities is essential to attract new development, strengthen local economies and create more well-paying jobs.

Both the federal and provincial governments invested more than $655,000 each to fund the broadband network expansion in Wellington County.

“I have been a long-time advocate for universal internet access and through this investment, I am happy to see that we are one step closer to achieving this goal,” Lloyd Longfield, Liberal Member of Parliament for Guelph, said in a release.