Construction has begun on a high-speed internet fiber project that will serve as many as 3,400 rural customers in Monroe and Owen Counties when completed in 2023. Ellettsville-based Smithville and rural electric co-op SCI REMC say construction is underway for the first 350 residents and businesses.
The partners say, when completed, the project will deliver high-speed, reliable fiber-based internet service to residents and businesses in common service areas around Ellettsville, Lake Monroe, and Gosport.
“This joint project will help both companies move forward in closing the digital divide in rural areas by providing high-speed, highly reliable fiber-based internet connectivity,” said Darby McCarty, chairman and chief executive officer of Smithville Communications.
Smithville and SCI REMC say customers living in the first phase area, between Spencer and Gosport, can expect to have improved internet service by the end of the year.
The partnership says the fiber service will also replace copper-based services currently being used.
“By working with Smithville, we are able to meet our electric smart grid needs and ensure businesses and residents have access to world-class high-speed internet in the most expeditious, fiscally responsible way possible,” said Tanneberger.
James Tanneberger, chief executive officer of SCI REMC, said customers will be able to choose service from either Smithville or SCI REMC when the fiber network is built and active.