ANGOLA — Steuben County REMC will soon be making its first connections in the fiber-to-the-home project.
The first homes to be connected will be in the western and northwestern parts of Steuben County, in an area REMC is calling Otter Northwest.
“We are excited to announce that broadband internet service will open for REMC members in Phase I, Zone 1 … in the weeks ahead. We are excited to have reached this point and eager to start making connections,” says Dave Short, director of broadband operations.
To view the phase map and determine your specific location and timeline visit their website at https://remcsteuben.com/status-map-updates for more details.
Steuben County REMC will inform registered members as additional zones open.
To be among members notified, register by logging into the SmartHub app, or visiting the website to check your availability.
While driving around the county lately, especially the northwest corner, people may have noticed a great deal of utility work. If people looked up at the poles they may have noticed internet fiber being strung along the utility poles.
This broadband fiber of the Steuben County REMC fiber-to-the-home project will change the lives of the residents of northeast Indiana with consistent internet speeds reaching 10 to 100 times faster than any services currently available to the rural areas of Steuben County, said a news release from REMC.
On July 28, the first mile of fiber was installed on C.R.800W, north of the Otter substation. Continuing efforts, over the last month, by more than a dozen contractor crews have installed 50-plus miles of additional fiber across the western portion of the county.
Along with construction of the network,Steuben County REMC has established its own unique internet service provider services connecting this network to the outside world.
This will not only support the fiber-to-home network, but also enable businesses to transform. Business looking to establish service, or switch from an existing provider are encouraged to call the REMC office at 665-3563 to discuss their options and available packages.
Future zones will begin to open throughout this fall for Phase 1. The Otter Northwest zone is anticipated to open in November-December, servicing areas from Flint to Hogback Lake to Pine Canyon Lake.
Zone 3 will follow traveling south to West Otter Lake, Turkey Lake, Salem Center and Golden Lake. This area of Steuben County was perhaps one of the if not the least served in terms of internet availability, based on a recent Purdue University study.
Free installation will be available to members completing the registration process within a reasonable time as they move through each area.
“We encourage all members to visit our website and pre-register if they have not done so already. This will not only place them first on the list to receive notice to sign up and schedule their install, but assist the REMC with material acquisitions in order to to keep the project moving forward, as well as forecast future zone release dates”, said Kevin Keiser, CEO of Steuben County REMC.
Steuben County REMC is the largest fiber optics provider in Steuben County. It purchased the iMAN system in a deal that took effect in January 2021.
The REMC’s Board of Directors authorized the acquisition of iMAN from the Steuben County Community Foundation for $2.8 million in an effort to provide fiber optic services to its members. The deal was signed on Oct. 12, 2020.
The fiber network was the creation of the Steuben County Community Foundation more than two decades ago.
Over the next few years, REMC plans to deploy fiber to its home network of customers. This will represent a multi-million dollar investment in infrastructure.