The City of Bloomington has signed a letter of intent with Meridiam to build and operate a citywide broadband network for residents, including areas anticipated to be annexed into the city. A final agreement is expected to be inked by Dec. 31, with construction starting in 2022.
According to a press release, the international company plans to invest more than $40 million in digital infrastructure in the coming years.
Read the city's press release here.
The $270 million Indiana Connectivity Program was launched this week to connect residents and businesses that lack access to broadband internet service with service providers and to assist in the cost of extending broadband to those locations. It is offered by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.
To be eligible for the program, a location must either have no access to internet, or access to download speeds less then 25 Mbps and upload speeds less than 3 Mbps. Homeowners and business owners looking to participate in the program can go to the Next Level Connections portal and enter their address and information. They can also call the Indiana Broadband Connect Center during business hours at 833-639-8522.
Click here for more information about the Connectivity Program.
Regional Opportunity Initiatives has released a plan designed to build a stronger digital infrastructure throughout Monroe County. The 6-page plan includes five goals with strategies to help implement each goal. Goals are:
Click here to read the full plan.
At its June 16 meeting, Monroe County Commissioners voted to establish a infrastructure development zone for an area southwest of Bloomington.
This infrastructure development zone would abate property taxes associated with development of broadband in the zone.
Click here to read material from the commissioners' meeting packet.
Regional Opportunity Initiatives is collecting data about broadband speeds and mapping those speeds in the community to help get grants and other support to improve broadband capacity. As part of the project, they're asking residents and businesses to take an internet speed test.
The goal of this project is to create an accurate regional map of where internet service is available, where it is unavailable, and what broadband speed residents are currently receiving.
Read more about this project and take the test here.
A public forum is planned for Wednesday, June 2 focused on a digital inclusion plan to improve infrastructure, internet speed, connectivity, access to devices, and digital literacy in Monroe County.
The June 2 forum, which starts at 5:30 via Zoom, is hosted by the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, along with members of the County Digital Advisory Team. The event will review and seek feedback on initial findings of a digital inclusion survey. To receive the Zoom link, RSVP by emailing Meagan Niese at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about this initiative is available here.
A Dec. 1 public meeting and online survey are the next steps in the City of Bloomington's Digital Equity Strategic Plan. The city recently released a draft of the plan, which lays out a framework to improve internet accessibility and affordability for Bloomington residents.
A meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 1 starts at 6:30 p.m. via this Zoom link.
Click here to give feedback online.
The City of Bloomington has released a report looking at digital equity among city residents. The report is intended to guide development of the city's digital equity strategic plan.
Among the findings:
Click here to read the report.