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Smithville, Co-op to partner on broadband Internet

(Pixabay Photo/Michael Jarmoluk)

MARTINSVILLE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Two businesses are launching a joint effort to accelerate the delivery of fiber broadband internet to south-central Indiana.

Ellettsville-based Smithville Communications Inc. and electric cooperative SCI REMC have announced a partnership to get high-speed internet to 3,400 customers around Ellettsville, Lake Monroe, and Gosport.

“Smithville is pleased to partner with SCI REMC for this project,” said Darby McCarty, chairman and chief executive officer of Smithville. “We both serve customers in the same geographic area, so it makes sense to work together to provide service, particularly with the high cost to build in rural areas.”

Even though the two organizations are jointly building the infrastructure, residential and business customers will be able to choose service from either Smithville or SCI REMC.

Both companies will independently market services to customers within the project area.

The two organizations say building separate physical fiber networks represents a costly option.

“By working with Smithville, we are able to meet our electric smart grid needs and ensure businesses and residents have access to world-class high-speed internet in the most expeditious, fiscally responsible way possible,” said James Tanneberger, president and CEO of SCI REMC

SCI REMC, which is based in Martinsville, says it plans to continue building its own fiber network beyond the common service area where members currently don’t have access to high-speed internet.

The project will begin immediately and is expected to be completed by June of 2023.