Delivering internet to all of Howard County
Are you ready to enter
BerryComm is proud to have been selected to build a 55-mile fiber optic ring, connecting thousands of homes and businesses in Howard County to high-speed fiber internet. This two-year venture has progressed exceptionally well, and the next phase has begun by recognizing the first three customers to hook up and receive service from the fiber ring.
“Being able to have a good connection with good streaming capability with low latency is very important. All of our phone operations run through our Plevna location. We’re excited! We couldn’t be happier to be where we are today”.
“We’ve struggled with the internet forever. It's awesome to have good service and local people like BerryComm!”
Christen & AJ Lucas
Howard County Residents
"Good Internet service was truly a must in our life. After a lot of research, we contacted BerryComm and things took off from there!"
Recognizing our first customers
Howard County and BerryComm recognize the first customers on the “Fiber 55 Ring”
BerryComm is pleased to celebrate the completion of service activations for the first customers within the Fiber 55 Ring in Howard County.
BerryComm, a privately held fiber internet company serving North Central Indiana, has been rapidly expanding its networks to homes and businesses throughout the region. BerryComm’s most notable expansions are presently underway in Northern Hamilton County, Howard County, and Southern Cass County.
Plans for a 55-mile fiber ring were announced after bids were submitted and a selection was made in December of 2021. BerryComm began the work of building a 55-mile ring of infrastructure to provide reliable broadband to places that are underserved within Howard County. The company will be offering speeds up to 1Gig for residential and speeds beyond 1Gig for business subscribers. This project has the potential to transform the rural community of Howard County and provide a service that is desperately needed. The ring is expected to be completed by the end of Summer 2023.
“This fiber ring is the foundation that will allow us to connect every resident in the county,” said Cory Childs, President of BerryComm. “Over the past two years the work our engineers and staff have done is going to pay off in the future for the residents of Howard County.”
The funding for the project has come from both federal and state grants. BerryComm is urging the residents of the county to register with the Indiana Connectivity Program to help complete the project and assure that high-speed fiber will reach everyone.
“We as a state may receive as much as $700 million dollars to finish the job,” said Earnie Holtrey, Deputy Director of the Indiana Broadband Office. “What we will be tasked with from the federal government is to connect every last remaining Hoosier. Governor Holcomb mentioned in the state address a few months ago that the $80 million dollars in round four of the Next Level Connections will be distributed to ISPs like BerryComm in January of 2024. We need to identify those project areas we have left. These areas will be the most isolated and remote rural citizens — and we need to fill in the gaps.”
The recognition of these initial fiber activations in the 55-mile ring was celebrated on March 20th. In attendance were Earnie Holtrey, Deputy Director of the Indiana Broadband Office, and Howard County Commissioners, Jack Dodd, Brad Bray, and Jeff Lipinski. Also present was Howard County’s lawyer Alan Wilson, and Project Manager, Pam Isaac.
The three residents in attendance benefiting from the newly ran fiber were Christen and AJ Lucas, Wayne, Joe and Rachel Mast of Mast Farms, and Kyle Shrock of Plevna Implement.
Rural residents have common stories about the difficulties of living and working in areas that are underserved and don’t have access to technology. Communities struggle to grow, education for children suffers, and businesses simply fail.
“My husband works from home, we have 3 kids, we need reliable internet. We were told that the house had good internet service and it did not,” said Christen Lucas. “So what do you do after 3 years when you’ve bought a house where service doesn’t exist and internet is a necessity?”
The elected officials in Howard County have heard the concerns of the rural residents of the County. With the help of the federal government and the state of Indiana, there is real change coming regarding rural internet access. BerryComm and Howard County are making efforts at a grass roots level towards leveling the playing field for every resident — regardless of address.
“This is going to be a game changer for everybody,” said Brad Bray, Howard County Commissioner. “Teaming up with BerryComm, a local company, local people, local money — that is what it’s all about. Not just because they’re local, they do a fantastic job.”
Farming and agriculture have greatly been impacted by technology. It is imperative for farmers to have access to high-speed internet so they can embrace new technological advances — it is a must for them to compete and survive. Local farmers like the Mast family are one of many residing in geographic locations that hinder their ability to compete.
“We started in 1982 and we farm 5,000 to 6,000 acres. We have struggled with poor internet service forever,” said Wayne Mast. “We’re sending a lot of real time data to John Deer’s data center, and they’re planning for a lot more automation and autonomy. Requiring even more data, having fiber internet is going to be big down the road for agriculture,” said Joe Mast. “It is awesome to have good service and local people like BerryComm.”
Running a business is extremely difficult without the right tools and technology. Kyle Shrock knows exactly the struggles of managing three implement stores. Creating seamless work systems and having every store connected has been a great challenge. Maintaining a business can be hard when areas are underserved.
“We are located in no man’s land for internet service and we have fought for years trying to get fiber service,” said Kyle Shrock of Plevna Implement. “This is a game changer. We have three different store locations. It’s a must to have good connection and good streaming capability. Low latency is very important. All phone operations run through our facility in Plevna which wouldn’t be possible without a reliable fiber connection. We’re excited to be working with BerryComm, we couldn’t be happier than we are today!”
With the help of federal, state and county governments, BerryComm will continue to work diligently to bring fast, reliable fiber internet to every rural resident of Howard County.
“This fiber ring is the foundation that will allow us to connect every resident in the county.
“Over the past two years the work our engineers and staff have done is going to pay off in the future for the residents of Howard County”.
Deputy Director of the Indiana Broadband Office
“As most of us know a massive amount of infrastructure, money coming our way, not only roads and bridges and things like that, but broadband, we as a state may receive as much as $700 million to finish the job. What we’re being tasked with from the federal government is to connect every last remaining Hoosier”.
Howard County Commissioner
“We knew there was a need and in Howard County, we get things done. Teaming up with BerryComm a local company, local people and local money, that’s what it's all about. They do a fantastic job!”