INDIANAPOLIS -Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Broadband Office announced that Shelby 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 Broadband Ready Community certification sends a signal to the telecommunication industry that a community has taken steps to reduce barriers to broadband infrastructure investment.
“Congratulations to Shelby County for prioritizing broadband development and becoming a certified Indiana Broadband Ready Community,” Crouch said. “As communities across the state enhance their broadband readiness and internet, our administration remains focused on helping them get reliable connectivity to underserved and unserved Hoosiers.”
The certification was approved by the Indiana Broadband Office following the Shelby County Commissioners adoption of a Broadband Ready Community ordinance.
“Our Task Force has been working with Southeastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (SIRPC) on gathering information on the needs of Shelby County and its residents. We are looking forward to working with partners on developing a strategic plan to provide the most economical broadband expansion to our residents of Shelby County,” said Shelby County Commissioner Kevin Nigh. “With the changing times, our residents deserve the same opportunity as others to watch community meetings via the internet and find out what is taking place in the county so they can be more engaged. This will help our schools, students trying to do homework, and those from all corners of the county who have issues with fulfilling typical day-to-day activities due to lack of adequate internet service.”
According to Earnie Holtrey, Project Manager at the Indiana Broadband Office, Shelby County is the 71 Broadband Ready Community in the state to achieve this certification.
“Shelby County has taken the steps needed to enhance the quality of life for their citizens through broadband development. This is an exciting day for their residents and businesses, and we join in their excitement and celebrations,” said Holtrey.
Via 2020 legislation, the Broadband Ready Community Program was transitioned from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) to the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). IBO began the day-to-day management of the Broadband Ready Community Program on July 1, 2020.