The 2018 Broadband Summit was held Thursday in Hendricks County. The summit was announced in August when Director of Broadband Opportunities Scott Rudd was hired for the newly created position. He told Hoosier Ag Today that we’re at a tipping point with rural broadband. It’s no longer just a want, it’s a need.
“Almost a utility type of need, like water, electricity, et cetera. And so, the summit today, we were wonderfully surprised to see just overwhelming response from community economic development folks, the agricultural communities, and providers in coming together to talk about ways that we can all join forces and propel rural broadband forward.”
Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch said one of the takeaways from the event is to help communities understand what steps they can take to be “broadband ready” and make it attractive for providers. She added, “There are number of regulatory obstacles, administratively and legislatively, that need to be addressed in order for communities to make sense for them (providers) to invest in. So, we want to identify and start working on those because it’s extremely important that our providers have certainty so that they can make sound business decisions and know that when they’re going into a community and investing that it makes sense for them.”
With farmers in the field on a beautiful October day, Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler had a room full of folks who aren’t in agriculture to discuss how the “Internet of Things” could be utilized on the farm but can’t because of the lack of connectivity.
“If people don’t truly understand the industry of agriculture, they may not think of it as a high-tech industry or an industry that needs technology to be able to help farms make decisions. Toward the end of our panel, somebody talked about businesses and why it’s (rural broadband) important. I try to remind folks wherever I go that that farmers are businesses.”
As of today, there are only 10 communities certified as “Broadband Ready”.
1. Town of Nashville
2. City of Rushville
3. Brown County
4. Town of Richland City
5. Town of Merrillville
6. City of Boonville
7. City of Vincennes
8. City of Cannelton
9. City of Muncie
10. City of MItchell
The following links direct you to the appropriate sites to learn how a community can become broadband ready.