FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 11/04/2019 For more information, contact Tony Rodriguez

La Porte County Office of Economic Development

219-877-8830

trodriguez@laportecounty.org

La Porte County Broadband Task Force Celebrates New Deployment of Fiber Optic Infrastructure

****ACME Commmunications Deploys Fiber on 300N****

[La Porte County, Indiana]: The La Porte County Broadband Task Force announced today that because of the focused attention being given to the topic of high-speed broadband needs across our county, positive developments are occurring including new fiber being installed. The task force has held numerous in-depth discussions with broadband companies who provide internet services in the county. We are happy to announce that ACME Communications, a Michigan City-based internet provider, sat down with the task force on September 27th to discuss unserved and underserved areas of the county. After hearing details about the needs for the deployment of more fiber to the unserved parts of the county, ACME Communications has increased its services and has now deployed new fiber for residents in the area of 300N.

ACME Communications CEO, Bill Richey, met with key leaders of the La Porte County Broadband Task Force, a community group of volunteer tech experts which is chaired by Commissioner Sheila Matias and directed by Tony Rodriguez. In learning that 300 N between County

Line Road and 421, an area near ACME’s existing deployed fiber, was underserved, Mr. Richey moved into action to serve that area. “We are in the digital age and this is in an area already near our existing infrastructure; it makes sense to help our citizens have improved, reliable internet,” stated Richey.

This new fiber deployment will help to serve the 20-30 properties on this county road and, in fact, 90% of the properties are now successfully connected to the new fiber.

“Prior to our investment, their connection was a hot spot with a speed of 256K. Now with the new fiber, they are at 100G. Their internet speed has improved and is now 100,000 times faster,” concluded ACME’s Richey.

The La Porte County Broad Band Task Force is excited about this milestone and the opportunities it holds for serving more of that area. Discussions continue with ACME Communications about the potential of possibly continuing down County Line Road to serve subdivisions further south which would assist hundreds of residents to gain more reliable, faster internet connection.

About La Porte County Broadband Task Force: Our vision is to create equitable deployment and utilization of adequate broadband infrastructure to improve the quality of life and competitiveness required for every family, resident, business, and organization in La Porte County. Our mission is to ensure La Porte County plans for, transitions to, and prospers in the digital age through a transformation into a human-centered, digitally- inclusive technology-ready ecosystem across all communities

Under the direction of Tony Rodriguez, Director of the La Porte County Office of Community and Economic Development and a team of knowledgeable community tech experts as advisors, this task force has made big moves in just a few short months since being created in Spring 2019.

La Porte County Commissioner Sheila Matias, founder, and Chair of the Broadband Task Force acknowledges, “This project is a heavy lift and we know that we won’t solve this problem quickly. But since its formation, Tony and our team have made great strides for our county. Our goal is to keep pushing forward to ensure that La Porte County residents and businesses have access to high-speed internet. It’s not a luxury anymore-it is an essential utility we all need. Our goal is to make sure that we have enhanced digital-ready communities for all, not just in our urban areas. Congratulations, Tony, for your leadership and for the relentless hard work and focused effort of the team which led to this first success.”

The Task Force is our local think tank and is a “boots on the ground” attempt to survey needs and current infrastructure, and using this information, work to directly assist in finding a solution to this critical infrastructure issue.

“We are really happy to see this very significant first step towards a connected count” Each step the Task Force can take to move the needle on this large project helps improve the quality of life for everyone across the county,” said La Porte Commission President Dr. Vidya Kora.

Commissioner Rich Mrozinski stated, “The group has worked hard to make strides and to see progress already is very exciting. We know there is a lot of need out there.”

“I applaud the task force as well as ACME Communications for this important first step; we know that other providers will want to join them and put their money where their mouth is to make this substantial infrastructure investment,” stated Randy Novak, President of the La Porte County Council and a founding member of the La Porte County Rural Broadband Task Force.

For more information, please reach out to Tony Rodriguez, Director, LPC Broadband Task Force Directly at 219 877-8830 or trodriguez@laportecounty.org