Many of us, if we're being honest, take for granted having access to high-speed internet in our homes - I know I do. We have come to expect our devices to work flawlessly. We expect our show, movies, and games to instantly appear in glorious HD, or even 4K. For most of us, buffering is a thing of the past. Simply put, we've been spoiled by technology. There are, however, thousands of residents in rural areas of Vanderburgh County that don't have access to high-speed internet, but change is coming for those folks.

The Vanderburgh County Board of Commissioners recently announced they had signed a contract with AT&T that will bring high-speed internet to unincorporated parts of Vanderburgh County. The nearly $40 million contract is for building a state-of-the-art fiber network within the next two years. The network means download and upload speeds up to 1 Gbps (Gigabits per second) - that's really fast. That means customers in those rural areas can do what we're already used to - connecting multiple devices and streaming multiple sources. In addition to being an upgrade for entertainment purposes, this will also allow students to get more work done from home.

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County Commissioner Cheryl Musgraves says, “High-speed internet is foundational to creating economic and educational success in rural Vanderburgh County. This agreement with AT&T to build an all-fiber network is the keystone to connecting more than 20,000 of our citizens and businesses to future opportunities.”

According to the terms of the contract, Vanderburgh County will be responsible for $9.9 million of the project. Those funds come from a federal program called the American Rescue Plan Act, which was created to help combat the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The remaining $29.7 million will come from AT&T which will own and operate the network.

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