WATCH: Lease Targets Rural Broadband

Posted: Updated:
State leaders say the deal will boost quality of life in rural areas and spark economic development opportunities. State leaders say the deal will boost quality of life in rural areas and spark economic development opportunities.
INDIANAPOLIS -

State leaders say a new agreement to lease communications infrastructure will pay big dividends for the economy, specifically for the rural agriculture and telehealth sectors. The deal with Ohio-based Agile Networks, which could net the state more than $260 million over 50 years, aims to bring broadband service to areas of the state that currently have no access. Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Ted McKinney says Hoosier farmers and agribusinesses must have access to reliable broadband in order "to grow and thrive in today's economy, as well as to remain competitive globally."

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Indiana Office of Management and Budget Director Micah Vincent says the transaction also helps the state hit an important benchmark in funding bicentennial projects.

Vincent says the deal will boost quality of life in rural areas and spark economic development opportunities. He says it will make for a healthier community by providing the network needed for telemedicine opportunities, allowing residents to have "virtual visits" with health care providers. Vincent says it will also increase access to online education, resulting in a stronger work force.

Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith says a strong broadband network is "just as important as the roads, rails, waterways and skies that connect Hoosier businesses to their customers around the world." He says the lease will give Hoosiers in underserved areas "improved access to a key tool for innovating and launching new businesses."

The agreement calls for Agile Networks to make an initial payment of $50 million to manage, operate and market Indiana's communications infrastructure for 25 years. The company would also pay the state around $46 million in expected revenue over the course of the deal. If Agile Networks exercises an option to extend the agreement for an additional 25 years, it would pay another $10 million up front and around $164 million in expected revenue over the renewal term.

  • Perspectives

    • Creating the Work Spaces that Draw Talent to Indianapolis

      The future economy will be driven by data, powered by robotics and heavily invested in the building blocks of nature – biotech and genetic engineering. That’s true of the economy nationwide, and it’s especially true here in Indianapolis, where dominant pharmaceutical and biotech companies are putting us at the cutting edge of the science-based economy. It all sounds larger than life. But the facilities that will house these industries will always be...

    More

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Elizabeth Head is the head of school at ISI.

      International School Launches Capital Campaign

      The International School of Indiana has publicly launched a capital campaign to establish a unified campus in Indianapolis. As part of the ONE ISI campaign, the school is looking to raise $6.5 million to build a new school building for pre-elementary and elementary students at the site of its middle and high schools. The public launch follows a 10-month silent phase of the campaign, during which ISI raised $5 million from more than two dozen donors. Currently, ISI's operations are...

    • Money magazine judges Fishers as 3rd best place to live in the U.S.

      Fishers Makes Top 10 List of 'Best Places to Live'

      Three communities in Indiana made the top 100 list of best places to live in the country, but only one made the top 10. Fishers was judged by Money magazine as the third best place to live in the United States, behind Clarksville, Tennessee and Round Rock, Texas.

    • Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch will be on hand for the announcement.

      Jobs Announcement Set for Indy

      City and state officials will Wednesday make a jobs announcement in downtown Indianapolis. Few details are available, however the Indiana Economic Development Corp. says leaders from an Indianapolis-based startup will be involved.

    • (photo courtesy of Dickinson Fleet Services)

      Dickinson Fleet Services Expands; Grows Talent Pool

      Indianapolis-based Dickinson Fleet Services is expanding its truck maintenance reach with the purchase of A1 Diesel Service of Hendersonville, Tennessee. Dickinson says this is its ninth acquisition since 2017 and the third in 2019. 

    • Photo courtesy of Bristol Parks

      Startup Plans to Add 250 Jobs By 2021

      A metal forming startup is seeking to use a facility in Bristol that has been empty since 2017 for a major manufacturing operation. The Elkhart Truth reports Brinco will invest $52 million in the project and add 250 jobs.