Elkhart County partners with fiber operator
The Elkhart County Commissioners are partnering with South Bend-based ChoiceLight Inc. on the management of the county’s 189-mile fiber network. The partners say the deal will accelerate the county’s return on investment in the network.
The commissioners passed a license and operation agreement with ChoiceLight last November, which allows the nonprofit to manage the day-to-day business and operations of the fiber network.
“Elkhart County citizens remain the owners of our fiber network,” Elkhart County Commissioners President Brad Rogers said in a news release. “Leveraging ChoiceLight’s experience and expertise allows us to accelerate the return on our fiber investment, improve efficiencies and connect more Elkhart County businesses.”
The county’s network runs from South Bend to Middlebury and from Elkhart to Goshen. With the partnership, ChoiceLight now manages more than 500 miles of fiber in the region.
“Bringing Elkhart County’s fiber into the collaborative operation of a regionally managed network represents a significant milestone in connectivity for this part of Indiana,” said ChoiceLight CEO Regina Emberton. “We appreciate the confidence the County has in ChoiceLight and look forward to providing Elkhart County businesses with a competitive advantage that will impact economic development for decades to come.”
Emberton is the former CEO of the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership. She was named CEO of ChoiceLight in December 2021.
Chris Stager, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County said the partnership is part of a continuing effort to leverage broadband assets “so that our legacy companies and emerging industries can easily adopt new technologies and embrace the digital transformation needed to thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”
ChoiceLight also manages fiber networks in St. Joseph and Marshall counties.