Commission pushes for more broadband in rural Vanderburgh Co.

Local News

Vanderburgh County leaders are trying to bring better internet and cell service to everyone. Commissioners want more development in rural parts of Vanderburgh County.

It may be hard to believe, but there are people in Vanderburgh County and the Tri-State living without reliable, or any, access to internet or cell service.

Commissioner Cheryl Musgrave wants to spur growth and remove hurdles for companies to build broadband infrastructure in rural parts of Vanderburgh County.

She has talked to AT&T and Wow, but an ordinance passed Tuesday aims to open the door for “anyone who will come and invest,” she said.

It exempts companies who invest in technology from paying property taxes. It also gives the county a chance at state grant money.

“We definitely want that money to be invested here in Vanderburgh County,” Musgrave added.

For every dollar invested in increased coverage, the Lieutenant Governor’s office expects a $4 return. Musgrave believes in the investment which could include wired and wireless upgrades.

She says microcell towers, which clamp onto telephone poles, is one example of what improved infrastructure could bring.

You can see far reaches of Vanderburgh County that don’t have wired or wireless connections in an map online.

Musgrave thinks this economic development zone will sweeten the pot and remove some risk for companies to invest.

The Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville and a-t-&-t have shown support for the ordinance.

“Can you imagine being on a health plan that required you to dial up the doctor and you’re very sick, and you don’t have broadband?” Musgrave said.

From the farm to the office, little start-ups to big tech giants, the internet runs our world.

“Even if you are a kindergartener,” she said. “You’re issued a computer and you’re asked to do things at home.”

This document could change the world for hundreds in rural Vanderburgh County.

For the latest breaking news and stories from across the Tri-State, follow Eyewitness News on Facebook and Twitter.
This story was originally published on February 12, 2019

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.