Kosciusko County is making moves to improve broadband internet access. The Kosciusko County Economic Development Corp. will this evening host a discussion with local elected officials to not only tout the importance of rural broadband, but lay out the county’s plan to become broadband-ready certified. KEDCo Chief Executive Officer Alan Tio says access to broadband has gone from being a luxury to a necessity.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Tio detailed the county’s efforts toward greater broadband access.
“We formed an ad-hoc committee within our organization about a year ago. We reached out to a number of broadband providers, assessed who was already in our market, who could expand their presence in our market, so I think we have a good understanding of what opportunities there are and where the gaps are,” said Tio. “So going forward, we’re going to work with our partners locally to pursue the Broadband Ready certification through the Indiana Economic Development Corp.”
Tio says the certification would give the county, which includes 12 municipalities, a boost in its quest to expand access to broadband.
“It helps speed up approval processes for broadband installation. It helps signal to broadband providers that we’ve reduced some of the barriers and we’ve reduced the risks, the time involved with their due diligence. It’s an effort we can undertake to really make sure that we’re ready. We’re passionate about growing this community, about the opportunities that are here thanks to the industry base that we have, thanks to the population we have (and) the amenities. This is an important piece of the puzzle and we think the certification will help us market and be able to work with broadband providers to serve all corners of Kosciusko County.”
Tio calls broadband access a “must have.” He says a good portion of the county does have broadband access, but there are other areas that are underserved either because they don’t have the capacity or simply the kind of broadband needed to businesses and governments to operate, or for students to do homework or schools to do e-learning.
He says it’s important for the county to have the kind of broadband infrastructure in place to see businesses be competitive and succeed, and also to attract and retain residents.
Tio detailed the county’s efforts toward greater broadband access.
Tio discussed the importance of rural broadband access.