Elkhart-based fiber-optic Internet service provider Surf Internet will begin construction later this month and will eventually provide 250 miles of fiber-optic service to rural homes in three northern Indiana counties. Last April, the company received a $6 million grant from Indiana’s Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program to help cover some of the costs.
Privately funded with $3.6 million, Surf Internet says it will start in an underserved rural area of Elkhart County. Later this year, the program will move to LaPorte and Newton counties.
It is the largest project of its kind in northern Indiana, the company said.
“Instead of just looking at homes in densely populated areas, we’re applying grant subsidies in scattered areas that would otherwise not be economically viable,” said Surf chief executive Gene Crusie. “By working with local communities in this way, we can further expand our fiber optic network, opening doors to better educational, business and networking opportunities.”
The Elkhart County project will extend Surf’s fiber optic broadband service from Goshen to Wakarusa to Middlebury, covering 478 homes and 25 businesses.
The next phase in La Porte County will provide fiber service to 953 homes, including Westville, Wanatah, Union Mills, Rolling Prairie and Hanna. The company said it will serve 88 farm households and two businesses near Lake Village in Newton County.
All three projects are expected to be completed by April 2024.