Seventeen service providers have established the Hoosier Net consortium and plan to launch an Indiana statewide fiber network. According to a press release, it will be a “multi-year, multi-million-dollar network” to “boost capacity, internet access and reliability.”
Hoosier Net members already operate thousands of miles of fiber systems, which apparently will be interconnected and extended. The goal is to establish middle mile infrastructure to reduce the cost of connecting unserved and underserved areas, said John Greene, chairman of Hoosier Net and CEO of New Lisbon Telephone Company, in the release.
It has become quite common for groups of small rural telcos to get together to establish statewide networks, but Hoosier Net is noteworthy in that it is comprised of both telcos and at least one rural electric cooperative.
Electric cooperatives do seem to be catching on to the benefits of interconnection, however. Just last week a group of Arkansas electric cooperatives announced plans for a statewide network there.
Another noteworthy aspect of Hoosier Net is that one of its members is another statewide fiber network, Ohio’s Independents Fiber Network.
“Being in Western Ohio, we see the need to reach beyond state lines and develop a regional network to support educational institutions, businesses and surrounding communities, all of which will benefit from Hoosier Net’s increased speed, bandwidth and reduced latency,” said Rob Shema, CEO of Hoosier Net and Ohio provider CNI.
Plans for Hoosier Net include partnering with Indatel, a national fiber network that interconnects multiple statewide fiber networks.
“We are glad to see that most Indiana local exchange telephone companies are re-establishing a statewide network in Indiana and will engage with us,” said Mel Wagner, Jr., CEO of Indatel Services.
Wagner’s comments about re-establishing an Indiana statewide fiber network are a reference to Indiana Fiber Network, which did business as Intelligent Fiber Network and was a previous statewide fiber network owned by small telcos in the state. That network was sold to Zayo last year.
The seventeen members/owners of Hoosier Net are:
- Central Indiana Communications, Inc.
- Citizens Telephone Corporation
- Craigville Telephone Company, Inc.
- Daviess-Martin County Rural Telephone Corp. d/b/a RTC Communications
- Geetingsville Telephone Company, Inc.
- Independents Fiber Network, LLC.
- Monon Cooperative Telephone Company,Inc.
- Mulberry Cooperative Telephone Company, Inc.
- New Lisbon Broadband and Communications, LLC.
- New Paris Telephone, Inc. d/b/a NP Tech
- Perry Spencer Rural Telephone Cooperative, Inc.
- Pulaski-White Rural Telephone Cooperative, Inc. d/b/a LightStream
- Rochester Telephone Company Inc.
- SEI Data, Inc. d/b/a SEI Communications
- Swayzee Telephone Company, Inc. d/b/a Fiberhawk
- The Northwestern Indiana Telephone Company, Inc. d/b/a NITCO
- Sweetser Rural Telephone Company, Inc.