The Central Indiana Broadband Project (the “Project” or “H-Net”) is a build to own fiber to the premise (“FTTP”) network serving the suburban Indianapolis region. The Project will serve an aggregate of 85,000 premises, across the five municipalities of Bloomington, Columbus, Shelbyville, Martinsville and Bartholomew County. The Project is separated into two contracts corresponding to different regions. The milestone areas can be independently tested, commissioned, and lit, enabling the ISP to generate revenues accordingly.
The Indiana market is currently underserved by existing internet providers, which only service 20% of the market with faster and more reliable fiber optic broadband technology. A fiber network will be key to maintaining the existing economic base and future growth of these communities.
The Project was developed in conjunction with the local municipalities, with Bloomington serving as the anchor market. Meridiam is the sole developer and equity investor for the Project and has formed the Project Company, Hoosier Networks LLC (“Hoosier Net”). The municipalities will provide Hoosier Net certain rights of use for related city owned infrastructure assets, local tax incentives, access to public rights of way, and expedited permitting.
ESG/SDG Key Facts
More reliable high-speed fiber is expected to support telecommuting and increased labor inclusion for key communities in Indiana. Providing high-speed internet to every resident is a necessity for increasing city rankings and attracting higher-wage employers.
The Project is expected to contribute to additional opportunities to connect and service underserved communities, such as through telehealth and online education. A Digital Equity Plan has been developed, geared toward providing ubiquitous network coverage to all communities regardless of income level. Through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a federal subsidy program for internet services, the Project will provide reduced-price internet service plans for qualifying households.
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