Jackson County designated Broadband Ready Community


Tribune staff reports

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Broadband Office announced Wednesday that Jackson County is now designated as an official Broadband Ready Community.

The Broadband Ready Communities Program was created as a tool to encourage broadband development throughout Indiana.

The certification sends a signal to the telecommunication industry that a community has taken steps to reduce barriers to broadband infrastructure investment, according to a news release from Crouch.

Jackson County is the 53rd community to achieve this designation.

“Our administration remains focused on getting high-speed, reliable internet service to unserved and underserved Hoosiers,” Crouch said.

“Congratulations to Jackson County as it joins the more than 50 other Indiana communities that are now broadband ready,” she said. “Jackson County has already benefited from our Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program, and this designation could help further attract broadband investment, either through the private sector or potentially more of the funding available through the NLC program.”

The certification was approved by the Indiana Broadband Office following the Jackson County Commissioners’ adoption of a Broadband Ready Community ordinance.

“With the ever-changing landscape of technology, broadband connectivity is pivotal to the development of rural communities,” said Commissioners President Matt Reedy. “Thanks in large part to Jackson County REMC, we feel as though Jackson County is at the forefront of the rural high-speed broadband initiative. We are excited to take yet another step forward in this initiative by obtaining the Broadband Ready Community certification in partnership with Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Broadband Office.”

Scott Rudd, director of the Indiana Broadband Office, said the office has continued to see communities seeking the Broadband Ready designation at a pace not seen previously.

“Today, we celebrate with Jackson County leadership and the residents they serve as they take this important step toward affordable and reliable broadband access to all,” he said.

Via 2020 legislation, the Broadband Ready Communities Program was transitioned from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. to the Office of Community and Rural Affairs. The Indiana Broadband Office began the day-to-day management of the Broadband Ready Communities Program on July 1, 2020.

The mission of the Indiana Broadband Office is to assist residents in need of affordable and reliable broadband connectivity. This mission of reaching Hoosiers where they live, work and play is accomplished by communicating with stakeholders, providing resources to a diverse audience and leveraging established relationships with elected officials, associations and providers.

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