Today, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Broadband Office announced that Porter County is now designated as an official Broadband Ready Community. The Broadband Ready Communities Program was created as a tool to encourage broadband development throughout Indiana.

The Broadband Ready Community certification sends a signal to the telecommunication industry that a community has taken steps to reduce barriers to broadband infrastructure investment.

“Indiana communities are putting in the work and effort to increase their broadband capabilities, and Porter County joins this group,” Crouch said. “Congratulations to the Porter County Commissioners and community leaders for taking the necessary steps to enhance your community’s broadband investment. The future is bright.”

The certification was approved by the Indiana Broadband Office following the Porter County Commissioners adoption of a Broadband Ready Community ordinance.

“Becoming a Broadband Ready Community is an important part of expanding high-speed and reliable internet service to the rural areas of Porter County,” said Porter County Board of Commissioners President, Jeff Good. “This designation cuts the red tape for broadband providers so they will be more likely to expand their services to schools, students, at-home workers, farmers, small businesses and residents in unincorporated parts of the county.”

Earnie Holtrey, Project Manager at the Indiana Broadband Office, noted that many communities are already experiencing great benefits from becoming broadband ready.

“It’s rewarding to see so many communities prioritizing their futures and reaping the benefits,” said Holtrey. “We expect the same from Porter County, who has done a significant part in helping to connect all Hoosiers throughout Indiana. Congratulations.”

Via 2020 legislation, the Broadband Ready Community Program was transitioned from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) to the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). IBO began the day-to-day management of the Broadband Ready Community Program on July 1, 2020.

“COVID clearly demonstrated our shortcomings in the area of broadband connectivity. Until every Porter County resident has acceptable broadband access our job will not be complete,” said Laura Blaney, Porter County Commissioner and chair of the Broadband Task Force. “Becoming a Broadband Ready Community is just one of many steps in the right direction.”

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