Surf Internet signed its first customers in Knox after investing almost $2 million to bring fiber-optic internet to about 3,000 addresses.
Augie and Paige Gappa in Knox are the first to connect to Surf’s network. The two were on hand for a ribbon cutting Oct. 25.
The Elkhart-based company plans to connect 1,200 possible customers this year and more than 1,600 in 2024.
“For communities like Knox, bringing fiber doesn’t mean merely offering more competitive options, it brings a new way of living, working and learning,” said Surf CEO Gene Crusie in a press release. “Previously underserved areas will now have access to lightning-fast internet through a network that will support even faster speeds down the road. It’s transformative for all, including homes that were once thought unreachable by advanced internet technologies.”
The company also earned a $79,500 grant from the Indiana Connectivity Program’s 6th round of funding to connect to 20 rural addresses.
Lisa Dan, executive director of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, said residents of the county who want high-speed internet should have access in the next few years.
“Our rural communities face a variety of obstacles that urban communities do not, including the lack of high-speed fiber internet,” Dan said. “We are working hand-in-hand with Surf to bridge that divide and make high-speed internet more accessible to all Starke County residents.”
Dan said access to faster internet service will attract companies that will in turn bring jobs.
“Fiber broadband will improve lives through job creation, improved health care, and educational opportunities, growing our economy as a result,” she said.
Surf also has offices in La Porte; Byron Center and Fowlerville, Michigan; and Coal City and Rock Falls, Illinois. It employs more than 170 people.
Caption: Augie and Paige Gappa, the first customers to be connected to Surf’s high-speed fiber-optic internet network, pose as they cut the ribbon during the celebration in Knox, Indiana. (Photo provided by GreatNews.Life)