Regional Chamber, Frontier Join Broadband Group

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The state's Rural Broadband Working Group has two new members. The Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana and Frontier Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: FTR) are part of the initiative to improve broadband services throughout Indiana. The group is being organized by Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann and Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith. January 8, 2014

News Release

(FORT WAYNE, Ind.) The Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana today joined Frontier Communications in announcing their participation in the Rural Broadband Working Group, a new effort to enhance broadband access across Indiana.

The Rural Broadband Working Group is organized by Indiana Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann and Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith. It will explore how Indiana can attract more broadband investment so that all Hoosiers will have the high-speed Internet access necessary to support existing enterprises, create small businesses, educate Hoosier youth and connect rural Indiana to the rest of the world. The group’s first meeting is January 30th in Indianapolis.

“Communities across our ten-county Northeast Indiana region are fortunate to be served by some of the best telecommunications companies in the world,” Vince Buchanan, Executive Director of the Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana said. “Continuing investment in rural broadband is a priority issue, and that’s why the Regional Chamber made it one of our legislative priorities for 2014.”

“Expanding broadband availability is at the core of Frontier’s business charter nationwide,” said John Lass, Central Region President for Frontier Communications. “Since buying Indiana markets in July of 2010, we’ve invested over $240 million and expanded broadband availability to 88.57% of the Hoosier households we serve. We are excited to participate in this initiative with the Lt. Governor’s office to determine how we might help the State of Indiana become one of the best connected broadband states in America.”

State Representative Kathy Heuer (R-Columbia City) said while there has been great progress in expanding access, “Citizens in my district have told me that fast and reliable connectivity can still be a challenge in some areas. I am pleased that the Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce are willing to lead a statewide conversation about rural broadband connectivity.” Heuer said she believes a statewide working group comprised of private and public sector leaders will create the right environment to share the best ideas about improving connectivity across the state.

Representatives from Frontier Communications, Vince Buchanan, Executive Director of the Regional Chamber, State Representative Kathy Heuer and Alan Tio, president of Whitley County Economic Development Corporation and current president of the Indiana Economic Development Association will represent northeast Indiana at the Rural Broadband Working Group’s initial meeting later this month.

ABOUT THE REGIONAL CHAMBER OF NORTHEAST INDIANA

The Regional Chamber is a membership organization of more than 85 businesses from the 10-county Northeast Indiana region. Through advocacy and collaboration, the Regional Chamber promotes policies that yield a limitless future in Northeast Indiana on the strength of 21st century talent, world-class infrastructure, and a business climate that fosters investment, growth and success.

Source: Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana