Broadband access coming to many rural Tippecanoe County homes

Rural Indiana community members say broadband expansion is long overdue.

Posted: Aug 9, 2019 7:20 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Rural Indiana community members said broadband expansion is long overdue.

Most of us are used to lightning fast internet, but for people in rural Indiana communities, internet speeds are much slower. The governor announced Thursday more than $22 million will go towards broadband expansions in rural Indiana areas. It's something people who live in these communities say they've been waiting for.

"We need internet please," said Cody Janssen, who lives outside of Otterbein.

Cody only has one option for internet and he said it’s not great.

"Anytime we try to stream anything there is lots of buffering,” said Janssen. “You can't play video games online, there is too much lag and too much latency. We've dealing with slow internet for so long just something fast would be good it doesn't even matter."

There is good news for Cody and others who are dealing with the same issues.

The governor announced there will be more than a half a million dollars invested in expanding broadband in the northwest portion of Tippecanoe County. A request representative Sharon Negele has been getting from her constituents for years.

"Seventeen percent of our population are under served,” said District 13 Representative Sharon Negele. “What we know today is that broadband is an essential it is really like a utility."

Along with simply having access to faster internet, it will also be more affordable.

"In some cases families might be using their phones for internet,” said Rep. Negele. “The cost of data is expensive. So affordability is key in this area."

For people who live in rural Indiana, they said it's nice to finally have their concern taken in to consideration.

"Sometimes the smaller towns feel left out from the bigger towns that are getting better service,” said Carol Bell who lives in Otterbein. “I think it would be good if they can make it faster."

Community members are hopeful the changes will create a better economy for their area.

"Broadband makes it more possible for everyone even companies individuals to all be able to access more things,” said Jason Morales of Otterbein. “It creates access to not just entertainment but commerce as well.”

The grant for this project will be complete in 2021.

People who live in those rural communities can expect broadband expansion to follow soon after.

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