AT&T will deliver fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service to 11,000 new customer locations in unincorporated Vanderburgh County, Indiana as part of its public-private project to expand broadband access and help close the digital divide. In all, the project will connect over 20,000 households and businesses across the county and is on track to be completed by November 2023.
“AT&T is easily on target to meet its November deadline,” said Vanderburgh County Commissioner Cheryl Musgrave. “They have worked closely with us on this project every step of the way and the collaboration has already resulted in thousands of fast, reliable internet connections for our farmers, families, public safety and businesses.”
“There are few better days than this – when we’re not only providing computers to families who truly need them, but also bringing high-speed AT&T Fiber to more and more of rural Vanderburgh County,” said Bill Soards, president of AT&T Indiana. “We’re past the halfway point of our build plans for this project with the county and are excited to keep the momentum going for the people of this community.”
Vandenbugh County is one of several Indiana-based towns where AT&T has deployed fiber. To date, AT&T offers fiber broadband service to 540,000 locations in the state. AT&T is also currently working with the City of Martinsville, City of Boonville, Lawrence County and Delaware County on public-private partnerships to bring AT&T Fiber to those communities. In addition, AT&T is collaborating with the State of Indiana through the state’s Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program to build fiber networks in parts of nine counties.
The Vanderburgh County project, valued at $39 million, was made possible because of federal funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP). The ARP’s $25 billion investment aims to help provide every American with access to affordable, high-speed internet and connectivity.
To help bridge the digital divide, fifty Vanderburgh County students and families are receiving free refurbished laptops. AT&T is working with Compudopt to provide Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC), and the EVSC Foundation with laptops and other digital literacy resources. The laptops, funded by an AT&T donation to Compudopt, were given to Vanderburgh County area residents to fully participate in the digital world.
This effort is an element of the AT&T Connected Learning initiative, which is part of its companywide, $2 billion commitment from 2021- 2023 to help address the digital divide through internet accessibility, affordability and safe adoption. Recipients of the laptops were identified by EVSC and EVSC Foundation staff. The EVSC Foundation serves the local school corporation by expanding the public education experience – for students, and for those who lead them.
In Evansville, it’s estimated that more than 4,500 K-12 students don’t have access to the internet, computers or skills needed at home to benefit from the online world, an issue known as the digital divide.
“We know that the families who are receiving laptops today will find them invaluable as they learn and work, and communicate with their teachers and loved ones,” said EVSC Foundation President, Ely Sena-Martin. “To be able to put this necessary tool directly in their hands is incredible and we have AT&T to thank for it.”