From the Utilities District of Western Indiana REMC :
Recently, the Utilities District of Western Indiana REMC (UDWI) and South Central Indiana REMC (SCI) announced a new, limited partnership that will bring high-speed fiber to certain unserved portions of UDWI’s membership in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.
Starting in 2021, the two companies will work to bring gigabit broadband internet service to around 200 unserved homes and businesses in the north-central portions of UDWI’s territory. This partnership is expected to expand to additional unserved homes and businesses in the future.
SCI REMC will leverage existing middle-mile fiber assets and partner with UDWI to attach to their existing pole plant, allowing SCI to provide internet service in the most economical and expedient manner possible.
“It’s a special thing to be able to work together with other local organizations to achieve the same end goal,” said James Tanneberger, president and CEO of SCI REMC. “The partnership will allow SCI to bring fiber to areas that we normally wouldn’t be able to reach, and we look forward to working with UDWI on this project.”
In 2020, Indiana announced the second round of the Next Level Connections Broadband grant program, which awarded $51 million for 50 broadband infrastructure expansion projects across the state. SCI REMC was awarded two grants from the program and is utilizing one of those grants to assist in building fiber in this joint venture.
“We are grateful for opportunities that allow UDWI to serve its members in ways beyond utility service,” said UDWI CEO Doug Childs. “This partnership allows UDWI to further strengthen its internal goal of improving service and reliability for its members, and we are excited for this project to begin.”
Construction is starting soon, and it is anticipated that broadband access will be available to homes and businesses in the project area in mid-to-late 2022.