Next Level Connections Broadband Grants will assist the Smithville expansion for rural fiber projects in Monroe and Tipton counties.
ELLETTSVILLE (August 8) – Smithville announced today that the company has committed to expand gigabit-level (1,000 Mbps) fiber-based connectivity in two rural Indiana communities, according to Paul Quick, President. Smithville has been selected as a partner with the State of Indiana to improve fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) connectivity as part of the Next Level Connections Broadband Grant program.
Governor Eric Holcomb and Indiana’s Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) today named Smithville a recipient of two grants through its Next Level Connections Broadband Grant program, aimed at promoting access to broadband across the state.
“We are thrilled to be able to partner with the state to accelerate the delivery of faster, more reliable fiber technology to our customers in rural areas,” said Quick. “We look forward to bringing Smithville’s nationally recognized high-speed fiber technology to more than 775 residents in a rural farming region of Tipton County and the Bean Blossom region in Monroe County.”
According to Quick, Smithville is providing 75% of the funding for eligible portions of the projects, which will include close to 150 residences that are currently considered unserved (i.e. receiving speeds of less than 10/1 Mbps), with the state grants covering 25% of those costs. Smithville has committed additional private capital to bring fiber to 600+ households within the project area that already receive speeds above that threshold and are therefore not eligible to receive funding under the current program parameters.
“This is a win for all, but especially the Hoosier families and farms that can benefit from high-speed and high-capacity internet through Smithville’s fiber connectivity” said Quick. “For commercial providers like Smithville, receiving these grants allows us to advance projects more quickly. Additionally, the state has maximized public funding to leverage additional private investment, bringing better connectivity to even more residents.”
Quick noted that Smithville plans to “take extra care” in constructing fiber in rural farming areas like Tipton County. “Farmers and people in agribusiness soon will have fiber resources that can help them optimize agricultural opportunities using the latest technology to aid planting, growing and harvesting,” said Quick. “We want to achieve this expansion with minimal disruption.”
The Smithville President also noted that the underserved region of Bean Blossom stands to immediately benefit from completed construction. “Bean Blossom is a popular tourism region in addition to being home to many Hoosier families,” he said.
“We applaud Governor Holcomb and Lt. Governor Crouch for allocating state resources to connect more Hoosiers to broadband–Smithville is privileged and proud to be a selected as recipient of the Next Level Connections Broadband grants,” Quick said.
Smithville is preparing to begin projects in Tipton County in the next few weeks and anticipates that the project will be completed in early 2020. The FTTH project in rural Monroe County is on the schedule for completion by the end of 2020.
Nationally recognized for more than a decade as a Top 100 Broadband Company, privately owned Smithville is Indiana’s largest independent telecom company with more than 200 employees. As a fifth-generation, family-owned business, Smithville has been committed to delivering fast and reliable connectivity and legendary service to its customers for nearly a century. The company is well-known as an industry leader and community supporter for rural Indiana. In addition to its residential services, Smithville provides commercial fiber-based connectivity for businesses, university campuses, biotechnology companies, healthcare providers, government offices, residential centers, communities, and other entities, including the WestGate @ Crane Technology Park and the Purdue Research Park. The company currently serves about 23,000 businesses and residences in southern and central Indiana. For more information, please visit www.smithville.com.