LaPorte County Seeking Broadband Designation
The LaPorte County Commissioners have approved an ordinance to submit to the state in an effort to earn the Broadband Ready Designation. The county says the designation could stimulate $130 million dollars in private sector investment.
Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch’s office says the program was created to encourage the development of broadband throughout the state. The county says the pandemic put a “glaring spotlight” on the need for internet access.
“If we are going to be prepared to educate our communities’ children and conduct telehealth appointments, continue to expand remote work, support a rapidly growing Internet of Things infrastructure, while encouraging innovation and entrepreneurial pursuits, we must have the bandwidth,” said Kevin McGuire, member of the LaPorte County Rural Broadband Task Force. “The pandemic has shown how critically vital this bandwidth is to our future; remote learning and access to the classroom and to teachers instructing remotely has shown that being able to connect at high broadband speed should not be a privilege or a luxury but a necessity for all families.”
The county says the ordinance also advises the state that it is “laser-focused” on finding solutions and strategies to provide residents with access to high-speed broadband services.
“Broadband infrastructure has become as critical as water and sewers lines,” stated LaPorte County Councilman President Randall Novak who also serves on the task force. “We spend a lot of effort and energy creating an environment that can attract significant new investment; what we are doing here today makes this critical fiber optic investment and increased band width another critical piece of the puzzle for future growth and we humbly ask for the State of Indiana’s support in approving this designation.”
Eighteen communities received the designation last year.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the county had officially received the designation from the state.