The trade organization that represents some 150 broadband service providers and industry suppliers has debuted a report on the availability and speed of high-speed Internet in the state. The Indiana Report on Broadband Progress shows what the Indiana Broadband and Technology Association says is a "dramatic" improvement in recent years in broadband access throughout the state. High-speed Internet access, especially in rural areas, is the subject of much discussion and is part of Governor Eric Holcomb’s 2018 legislative agenda.
IBTA President John Koppin says the companies his organization represents are "all about serving Hoosiers with broadband and every way we can do that is being exhausted at this point." Koppin says increasing access is not without its challenges. "The cost of placing fiber in rural locations can range from $25,000-$50,000 per mile and fiber is, in large part, is going to be the highway that drives all of this. It ends up being the connector for cell phones and small cells and macro-cell towers, as well as other fixed-wireless products, so it’s very important for us to be able to get that in, but it’s also very expensive," he said in an interview with Inside INdiana Business.
Two bills are under consideration at the Statehouse involving broadband access. Senate Bill 356 would provide grant money for communities or school corporations through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. House Bill 1297 better aligns state technical standards with those of the Federal Communications standards and redefines access classifications.
The report says in 2008, 14 percent of Hoosiers had access to Internet service with 10 Mbps download speeds. That number, the association says, has jumped to more than 90 percent currently.
You can connect to the full report by clicking here. The IBTA plans to release a new report each year.