Rural Indiana Facing 'Have/Have-not Situation'

Posted: Updated:
INDIANAPOLIS -

The chief executive officer of Indianapolis-based Indiana Fiber Network LLC calls the 16-year-old broadband internet provider "a great Hoosier success story." IFN, which was launched with a focus on high-speed connectivity for 20 rural telephone companies, now includes some 4,000 buildings throughout the state plugged-in through a network of more than 4,500 miles of fiber. Despite its growth, Jim Turner says there's still work to be done to bridge the broadband access gap in rural areas. In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Turner said IFN has made strides in underserved areas, but "there continues to be a little bit of a have, have-not situation."

IFN is in the midst of a major statewide network upgrade that Turner says will involve a $50 million investment in the coming years. Over the last two years, IFN says it has pumped $20 million into improvements. The company's total investment in Indiana during the next five years, Turner says, could hit $100 million. "It's really on two things. One is on expanding our network," he said. "The second thing is to really upgrade the network. As the network continues to grow -- as the demand on the network continues to grow -- we need more bandwidth and if you think about it as going from a two-lane highway to an 88-lane highway. That's really what the upgrade investment is doing is allowing (us) to get more cars on that road."

Turner says Indiana's traditional economic power sources are farming, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, but high-tech avenues are important for the future. "We're really moving to a data economy. When you look at what's really going on out there with some of the largest providers of different services in the world -- largest rental car company owns no cars: that's Uber -- what does it own? It owns data, and so the ability to delivery that -- you know, we're providing the highway for that high-speed data to travel," Turner says. He adds other advances like autonomous vehicle technology will also require broadband, which gives him optimism for the future of the state and IFN.

  • Perspectives

    • Sink or Swim: How to Stop Sabotaging New Hires

      You've jumped through the hiring hoops and emerged with some transformational talent. Before joining your company, Joe slashed costs and doubled revenue at his previous job, and Sue is known for building record-breaking teams and product launches. It should take them no time to produce similar results in your organization, right? In reality, Joe and Sue’s performances will hinge heavily on how you manage their post-hire assimilation: a cycle all new hires experience, lasting...

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • (photo courtesy Butler University)

      Aramark to End Operations at Butler

      Aramark Educational Services LLC has detailed plans to lay off 200 workers in Indianapolis. In a notice to the state, the company says the decision is the result of Butler University not renewing its contract to provide food services on the campus.

    • Metal Powder Products has Indiana operations in Noblesville and Campbellsburg.

      Manufacturer Growing Noblesville Operations

      Noblesville-based Metal Powder Products has announced plans to move a manufacturing division from Ohio to Hamilton County and add up to 80 jobs by 2020. The powder metallurgy product manufacturer says it will invest $1.5 million to increase production capacity in Indiana. The company currently employs more than 350 associates in its Noblesville and Washington County operations, and over 1,100 overall in the U.S. and China. MPP says it has already hired 51 employees as part of the...

    • Sink or Swim: How to Stop Sabotaging New Hires

      You've jumped through the hiring hoops and emerged with some transformational talent. Before joining your company, Joe slashed costs and doubled revenue at his previous job, and Sue is known for building record-breaking teams and product launches. It should take them no time to produce similar results in your organization, right? In reality, Joe and Sue’s performances will hinge heavily on how you manage their post-hire assimilation: a cycle all new hires experience, lasting...

    • Ting Gootee is the chief investment officer for Elevate Ventures.

      Indiana Lags Behind Neighbors on VC Investment

      A new report from Indianapolis-based Elevate Ventures says Indiana remains behind other states in the Midwest for venture capital investment. The 2018 Indiana Venture Report shows the state accounted for only 0.22 percent of all venture capital dollars last year. Ting Gootee, chief investment officer at Elevate, says while there is room to grow, Indiana is on the right path.

    • Chandler Speedway Auction Postponed

      The Chandler Speedway auction scheduled for this week has been canceled. Our partners at WEHT-TV report that track owner Reno Fontana has filed for bankruptcy in order to put a freeze on any debt collection, including sheriff's sales.