Warrick County Council approves major broadband project

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In a 5-to-1 vote, the Warrick County Council approved the Warrick County Advanced Broadband Project.

That means over 100 miles of fiber optic backbone and Wireless LTE are coming to Warrick County — to keep in more connected than ever before.

“This vote tonight opens up a great deal of our territory that is in remote areas that do not have the internet right now,” said County Councilman Greg Richmond, District 1.

The new plan approved by Warrick County Council will offer broadband coverage for most rural parts of the county, where many people rely on satellite.

“Which is course is not really reliable any time it’s really cloudy, if there’s trees you’re not going to get good internet,” said Richmond.

The county has selected Mainstream as its provider.

The company would invest between $11 and $13 million in the project.

Warrick County would chip in another $7.5 million.

That money comes from the Economic Development funds already on hand.

No new taxes or increases will be used to fund the project, and there is a 100% “claw-back” if milestones are not reached.

Broadband can be a way to invest in local communities.

“Purdue put a study out in August 2018 that says for every dollar we invest into broadband, we get four dollars back,” said Councilwoman Cindy Ledbetter, District 1.

The new system would be a boon for business.  Health care services are among those that could see improvements.

“Patients will be able to meet with providers over things like tele-health systems, they’ll be able to contact their providers via the computer, it will also decrease costs for emergency services,” said Ledbetter.

Broadband in Warrick County could also help traditional industries regulate in high-tech ways.

“It’s gonna help our famers. The technology will help them buy and sell, access to drones so they can monitor their crops.”

The plan could take 2 to 3 years to complete, and then Warrick County will be the only county in Soutwest Indiana to have a looped system.

“If there’s a break somewhere, it’s going to be a in a big circle loop, so if somebody cuts a line, you’re not without service.”

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(This story was originally published on January 10, 2019)

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