HAMMOND - An inventory of public wireless and optical communications assets in northwest Indiana is underway. The developers behind the $40 million Digital Crossroads of America Data Center in Hammond have hired an engineering firm in Germany that deals with network deployment and planning throughout the world.

Digital Crossroads Chief Executive Officer Peter Feldman says coverage is inconsistent in the region and throughout most of the country. "Tom Dakich (an Indianapolis attorney who is managing member of the development) and I are committed to creating the inventory of coverages and assets as a first step to making a comprehensive plan for NWI fiber and tower management as a serious part of the creation of jobs and opportunities in NWI," Feldman says.

Digital Crossroads says, for example, coverage options in certain areas could range from no digital service to up to 11 types. Project plans call for a data center, incubation space and a greenhouse at the former State Line Generating Facility. The state is slated to kick in $9 million in conditional tax incentives for the project, which could be complete mid-next year.