The town of Cumberland has accepted an offer from Greenfield-based NineStar Connect to acquire Gem Water Utility, which has been town-owned since 2010. As part of the deal, the nonprofit co-op says its communications subsidiary will build a fiber optic network connecting municipal buildings, parks and trails.
NineStar also says it will begin building high-speed fiber optic facilities to each home and business within the Gem Water Utility territory within two years. It will also retire Cumberland’s bond debt for the utility.
Cumberland Town manager April Fisher says the town considered purchase proposals from thee other utilities, but says officials were attracted to NineStar’s local ownership and history of working with the town on several economic development projects.
Last year, NineStar outlined efforts to expand fiber optic service in 10 Indiana counties. The co-op said it has invested $54 million into new infrastructure over the last six years. That expansion included Fayette, Hamilton, Hancock, Henry, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Morgan, Rush and Shelby counties.