MARTINSVILLE - Martinsville-based South Central Indiana Rural Electric Membership Corp. has unveiled plans for the next phase of its fiber-to-home network project. The cooperative says construction on the $20 million second phase of SCI Fiber will begin in early 2019.

The SCI Fiber project, which will be completed in four phases and cost up to $100 million, aims to bring high-speed Internet services to nearly 24,500 rural homes in the co-op's seven-county service area. Phase one of the project began in June.

The second phase will cover part of Brown County, as well as areas east and west of Martinsville. The service will be available to more than 4,500 homes, some as soon as July 2019.

“We started this fiber project because quality of life and economic development are tied to the availability of high-speed internet,” said James Tanneberger, chief executive officer of SCI REMC. “Communities within our service territory are underserved, and we recognize the positive role SCI REMC can play in meeting our members’ needs. Access to a high-speed internet connection has gone from a luxury to a necessity, and most of our electric members are at risk of being left behind. We want to make sure this does not happen."

SCI REMC says the project will help modernize electric operations in the service area. You can learn more about the project by clicking here.