About 1,500 rural Indiana locations in Elkhart, La Porte and Newton counties will soon have access to broadband internet service.
Surf Broadband Solutions in Elkhart was awarded $6.075 million as part of the latest round of Indiana’s Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program. Surf is providing $3.6 million in matching funds, which will be used to construct a fiber optic broadband network in underserved, rural communities of northern Indiana.
Communities Surf will extend service to include: Westville, Wanatah, Union Mills, Rolling Prairie, and Hanna in La Porte County; Wakarusa, Goshen, and Middlebury in Elkhart County; and Lake Village in Newton County.
Construction in all three counties will be complete by April 2024, the company said.
“Fiber optic broadband is a transformational technology that we believe will fuel innovation in our region,” said Gene Crusie, CEO of Surf Broadband Solutions. “Surf is thrilled to leverage this grant, along with our increased investment, to bring this technology to communities in northern Indiana and lay the foundation for future prosperity and growth.”
Grant and matching funds are earmarked for Surf fiber optic cover 953 homes in La Porte County. In Elkhart County, the grant will help construct a redundant loop to Wakarusa from Goshen, specifically addressing an underserved population southwest of Goshen.
A fiber optic network will also be constructed from Goshen east to Middlebury along a very rural route. In total, 478 households and 25 businesses and/or anchor institutions in Elkhart County will be connected. In Newton County, service will be provided to 88 rural households and two businesses near Lake Village.
In some cases, few or no internet services are available for Surf’s announced project areas.
“We believe that broadband is a great equalizer that gives our neighbors access to the same resources as their big city friends regardless of their background, location, or economic circumstances,” said Crusie.