Martinsville-based South Central Indiana Rural Electric Membership Corp. has kicked off the first phase of a new business designed to bring high-speed Internet services to rural areas in the region. The electric cooperative says work on the SCI Fiber project will begin in June to bring fiber service to nearly 3,800 homes in portions of Morgan and Brown counties.
SCI REMC Chief Executive Officer James Tanneberger says the entire project will take place in four phases over four years. He says, once the four phases are complete, the cooperative will be able to reach a total of nearly 24,500 homes in the seven-county service area.
The cooperative says bringing high-speed Internet to these rural areas will help spur economic development and create access to advancements such as telehealth and online education. At a news conference Tuesday, Tanneberger said the fiber-to-the-home service will bring the best possible technology to members in the area, and non-members as well.
"Fiber-to-the-home is important because it sets us up for the future," said Tanneberger. "It is home for our area, an area that has had economic challenges since 2008, an area that’s hungry for growth. The real reason for why we’re doing this and the importance of doing this and the benefit to everyone in our communities, even the folks who already have high-speed Internet, it’s important to remember that bringing this to our community is valuable to all of us."
The co-op says it has selected the areas to receive the service in the first phase because it will allow crews to explore various scenarios that will come up during the construction process, such as uneven terrain, both underground and overhead.
You can learn more about SCI Fiber by clicking here. You can view the full news conference in the video below:
Pictured left to right: Rep. Bob Heaton (R-46), CEO of Indiana’s Electric Cooperatives Tom Van Paris, SCI REMC President and CEO James Tanneberger, State Senator Rod Bray (R-37), Rep. Peggy Mayfield (R-60), and Sen. Eric Koch (R-44)