Wednesday, January 10, 2024
AUBURN, Ind. – On Monday, January 8 the Indiana Connectivity Program announced its eighth round of awards, which will expand rural broadband to 175 addresses across 23 Indiana counties.
Auburn Essential Services, one of 10 fiber providers in the state to receive funding, received $24,000 to expand broadband to several rural addresses within the county. AES will invest $476,294 to provide fiber to these addresses for a total investment in DeKalb County of $500,294.
“Although these are some hefty costs for us, we are budgeted for them and excited for the opportunities along the way to each of these rural locations,” said Susan Geyer, AES general manager. “Our team is excited to grow our footprint even farther in 2024.”
The rural areas fell into areas in which AES was already looking to expand into. The expansion to these households will also afford AES the opportunity to pick up other rural customers along the way.
Expansion into rural areas is part of AES’ long term agenda.
The Indiana Connectivity Program from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs aims to connect residents and businesses that lack access to broadband internet service with service providers and assist in the expense of extending broadband to those locations.
Owners of residential and business locations unserved or underserved, with access to speeds less than 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload, can apply for consideration by entering their information into the Next Level Connections portal to initiate their interest in receiving broadband internet service. Internet providers have the opportunity to review each location and submit bids to the state on the cost of providing service to these locations.
The Federal Communications Commission released its broadband map in 2022 at https://broadbandmap.fcc.gov/home allowing the public to take a close look and verify the coverage data presented for their residence or business.