Last Updated on January 28, 2021 by Indiana Broadband
SOURCE: News release from Indiana Broadband
Cass County is now designated as an official Broadband Ready Community, the first such designation of 2021. Via 2020 legislation, the program was transitioned from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) to the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). The Indiana Broadband Office (IBO) began the day-to-day management of the Broadband Ready Community program on July 1, 2020.
“I want to applaud another Indiana community for forming its broadband strategy and receiving its Broadband Ready Community certification,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch. “Local leaders are already working with regional partners to grow access to this essential technology, with a focus on rural areas that we know rely heavily on Indiana agriculture and manufacturing. This is another step to further secure broadband investments and opportunities.”
Recently, the Board of Commissioners of Cass County adopted a Broadband Ready Community ordinance and submitted it to OCRA. “Our highest priorities are the children who are in school or studying virtually, the underserved and telehealth in the time of the global pandemic. There is no bigger economic development than broadband,” said Dr. Ralph Anderson, president of the Cass County Commissioners, explaining the need for the county to be Broadband Ready.
Cass County becomes the 39th Indiana community to be certified as a Broadband Ready Community.
“Cass County’s designation as the state’s newest Broadband Ready Community is a significant step forward to facilitate much needed investment in broadband across the county,” said Scott Rudd, director of the IBO. “We look forward to working with Cass County leaders to creatively use existing assets and resources to grow county access, adoption and literacy.”
Broadband Ready Community Background
The Broadband Ready Communities Program was created as a tool to encourage broadband development throughout Indiana by serving as an information resource and certifying local communities as being broadband ready. The Broadband Ready Community certification sends a signal to the telecommunication industry that a community has taken steps to reduce barriers to broadband infrastructure investment. While investment in broadband infrastructure is not guaranteed to follow once a community obtains the certification, reducing the regulatory hurdles that deter investment is a key step towards creating an environment ripe for broadband investment. For more information, visit IBO BBRC.