Smithville recognized nationally for deploying fiber networks that transform local economies and improve communities’ quality of life, and for committing to innovation “with game-changing potential.”
ELLETTSVILLE, Indiana – In a time described as a “pivotal moment in broadband history,” Smithville received national recognition as a leading broadband enterprise as one of America’s top 100 national broadband companies, according to Sean Buckley, editor-in-chief of Broadband Communities magazine.
“Smithville was selected for this national recognition in part because of its continued commitment to finding creative solutions to expand broadband service, especially in underserved rural areas of Indiana,” said Buckley. “As the Rural Broadband Association noted, the industry is on the precipice of ‘once-in-a-generation funding,’ and Smithville demonstrated through past performance that it is well-equipped to take advantage of this new opportunity for the people, businesses and institutions of Indiana.”
Buckley noted that standards are high for selection in the top 100. Requirements to be selected in the intense annual competition include deploying networks, services and products that are intended to transform local economies or improve communities’ quality of life and for introducing advanced technologies with “game-changing potential,” including “exceptional service quality and standards.”
The 2022 selection of Smithville represents the 14th consecutive time the company has been recognized with this national honor, the only Indiana-based company so named.
Described as “Indiana’s most prominent independent telecom company” in the Top 100 award overview, Smithville was singled out for its continued innovative expansion of fiber and related services. The review described how Smithville was positively “leveraging significant private investments with catalytic funds from Indiana’s rural Next Level Connections Broadband Grant program” to bring gigabit-level fiber in north-central Indiana near Sharpsville and a creative joint initiative in Monroe County with the South Central Indiana Rural Electric Membership Cooperative (REMC).
While the company continues to positively leverage recent state broadband grant funding and partnerships with REMCs, Smithville’s network has been primarily funded by private investments totaling upward of a quarter of a billion dollars.
Smithville’s novel “best speed available” policy of providing the highest possible internet speed on its residential network with no data caps also was also cited as a reason for the Top 100 selection.
The award inclusion confirmed that Smithville has firmly established a reputation for providing outstanding service in Indiana, noting that Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch has referred to Smithville as “the state champion of rural broadband.”
The company was named together with 99 other major national firms like AT&T Fiber, Charter Communications/Spectrum, Comcast Cable/Xfinity, Quantum Fiber (formerly CenturyLink), and others in receiving the 2022 honor.
“Receiving this level of national recognition is exciting and humbling, especially during our 100th year of continuous operations,” said Darby McCarty, chairman and CEO of Smithville. “High integrity and value remain our hallmarks, but our 205 employees deserve the real credit, as they continue to prove that they rank among the best – if not the best – in the broadband telecom business.”
“Smithville’s continued focus on creating new opportunities that deliver high value and high-speed connectivity well serves our customers and communities,” said Paul Quick, president of Smithville. “Our technology and service advancements are planned and executed specifically to benefit our customers.”
Founded a century ago, privately owned Smithville has grown to be Indiana’s largest independent telecom company. The company has built upwards of 3,000 miles of fiber to serve its growing network, which include 100-gigabit capacity nodes in Jasper and Ellettsville, and the WestGate@Crane Technology Park adjacent to the $2 billion Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division in southern Indiana.
In addition to its award-winning residential services, the company provides enterprise-level high-speed ﬁber-based connectivity, data consulting, network management and other services for businesses, university campuses, biotechnology companies, health care providers and government offices. Smithville completed and now operates a $4.5 million network upgrade that will allow it to offer wave-level connectivity from 1 Gbps to 100 Gbps, with the capacity to scale to 200 Gbps in the future. Smithville is active in telemedicine and telehealth initiatives, particularly in rural areas.