Surf Internet rural broadband project breaks ground

Surf Internet has begun building 250 miles of fiber optic Internet to rural homes and businesses.

The telecommunications company received $6 million in public funding from Indiana’s Next Level Connections broadband grant program and is investing $3.6 million of its own money to expand fiber optic infrastructure to underserved communities in northern Indiana . The project will run through LaPorte and Newton counties.

“The construction of these Indiana projects represents tangible success in our strategy of combining grant grants with our own investments to bring high-speed Internet to underserved residents,” said Surf CEO Gene Crusie. Focusing on homes in densely populated areas, but applying for grant subsidies in dispersed areas that would otherwise not be financially viable on our own. By working with local communities in this way, we can further expand our fiber network for a better Educational, business and networking opportunities open doors.”

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The work will begin later this month in Elkhart County.

“When we launched our community outreach to residents affected by the NLC Grant area, we were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the community,” said Lana Frank, Surf’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Nearly 70% of the households we surveyed expressed support for our Very interested in service.”

Elkhart-based Surf Internet, formerly Surf Air Wireless and then headquartered in LaPorte, is in the process of obtaining permits to build fiber optic infrastructure in LaPorte County locations of Westville, Wanatah, Union Mills, Rolling Prairie and Hanna.

It connects 952 homes to LaPorte County’s high-speed Internet, connecting thousands of residents to faster streaming, Zoom, and other Internet services. Such services have become increasingly important as more work, education and other staples of daily life move online, a trend that has accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic.

In Newton County, it will connect 88 homes and two businesses through Lake Village.

The project is expected to be completed by April 2024.

Surf Internet has an office in La Porte and also serves the Great Lakes states of Illinois and Michigan.

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