Surf Broadband Solutions (“Surf”) has been awarded $6.075 million as part of Indiana’s Next Level Connections (NLC) Broadband Grant Program. With an additional $3.6 million in matching funds contributed by Surf, the money will be used to construct an advanced fiber optic broadband network in underserved, rural communities of northern Indiana.
“Fiber optic broadband is a transformational technology that we believe will fuel innovation in our region. Broadband-intensive applications such as Internet of Things (IOT), telehealth, remote work, gaming, and autonomous vehicles are just a few examples,” said Surf Broadband Solutions CEO Gene Crusie. “Surf is thrilled to leverage this grant, along with our increased investment, to bring this technology to communities in northern Indiana and lay the foundation for future prosperity and growth.”
Grant and matching funds are earmarked for Surf fiber optic broadband projects in La Porte, Elkhart, and Newton counties. In La Porte County, the communities of Westville, Wanatah, Union Mills, Rolling Prairie, and Hanna will be interconnected, covering 953 homes. In Elkhart County, the grant will help construct a redundant loop to Wakarusa from Goshen, specifically addressing an underserved population southwest of Goshen. A fiber optic network will also be constructed from Goshen east to Middlebury along a very rural route. In total, 478 households and 25 businesses and/or anchor institutions in Elkhart County will be connected. And finally, in Newton County, service will be provided to 88 rural households and two businesses near Lake Village. Construction in all three counties will be complete by April 2024.
In some cases, few or no internet services are currently available for the project areas covered by the NLC grant. In others, traditional phone or cable offerings aren’t keeping pace with the needs of users who rely on their internet connections for e-learning, work-from-home, video security, telehealth, and more.
“We believe that broadband is a great equalizer that gives our neighbors access to the same resources as their big city friends regardless of their background, location, or economic circumstances. Our fiber optic broadband internet services provide an ultra-high capacity, reliable connection that delivers up to a hundredfold increase over phone or cable lines – all at an affordable monthly rate, without contracts or future price increases,” said Crusie.
Currently in its third round, the NLC Broadband Grant Program has awarded a total of $268 million for broadband infrastructure to more than 74,800 homes and commercial locations. When combined with private and local investment, over $580 million has been leveraged since 2018. Projects will have been completed in 83 of Indiana’s 92 counties through the three rounds of the awards. Click here for a map showing the coverage area of all three rounds.
“This record-setting investment in broadband is another game-changer for Hoosiers who now, more than ever, need affordable, reliable internet,” Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said. “With this third round, we take giant steps in leveling the playing field for our residents regardless of where they choose to live, work or go to school.”
Residents and business owners wanting project updates can visit Surf’s construction page at https://construction.surfbroadband.com/. To see if services are currently available for a specific address, visit https://surfbroadband.com/ and click the orange “Check Availability” button.
About Surf Broadband Solutions
Surf Broadband Solutions (www.surfbroadband.com) is an innovative fiber internet company providing services to residents and businesses in the Great Lakes Region since 2010. Company office locations include La Porte and Elkhart, Ind., Byron Center, Mich., and Coal City and Rock Falls, Ill. In June 2021, Bain Capital Credit, LP, acquired a majority stake in the company and committed significant growth capital to accelerate its fiber optic network expansion. Post Road Group, Surf’s previous majority shareholder, remains an investor alongside Bain Capital Credit to further capitalize the company’s growth plans. Surf’s future network expansion will provide a fast, reliable internet connection essential for everyday living.
About NLC Broadband Grant Program
The Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program is part of Indiana Governor Holcomb's $1 billion Next Level Connections infrastructure program, which accelerates the completion of major highway projects, expands access to rural broadband services, creates more nonstop flights and pursues the expansion of rail projects in northwest Indiana. The program is overseen and administered by Indiana Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.