AT&T completes fibre optic broadband expansion in Boonville, Indiana
AT&T has completed its fibre optic broadband network expansion in Boonville, Indiana (Alphaspirit/Shutterstock.com)
U.S. broadband provider, AT&T has completed its $4.4m public-private project to expand broadband access in Boonville, where more than 4,000 new customer locations now have access to fibre-optic broadband.
AT&T has already deployed fibre optic broadband to other areas of Indiana. In fact, as of Q3 2023, more than 570,000 locations in the state have access to AT&T Fiber. The provider also recently completed its public-private fibre build in Vanderburgh County, and is currently working with the City of Martinsville, Lawrence County and Delaware County on public-private partnerships to bring fibre optic broadband 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 fibre networks in parts of nine counties.
The Boonville expansion was a public-private collaboration with the local government looking to expand broadband access. City of Boonville officials used federal funds made available by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2020, which was set up by the White House to aid economic recovery from the Covid 19 pandemic.
How the Boonville fibre optic broadband network was funded
Under the agreement signed in July 2022, Boonville contributed nearly $1m in public funds to bring fibre optic broadband to the area. AT&T covered the remaining $3.4m. In addition to the network expansion, AT&T is distributing free refurbished laptops in Boonville as part of its commitment to help bridge the digital divide. The provider is working with local not-for-profit organisation, Boonville Now to provide the laptops and other digital literacy resources to students and families in the Warrick County School Corporation.
Bridging the digital divide with laptop donations
The laptops, funded by an AT&T donation to Compudopt, are being distributed to pre-selected area residents to help them fully participate in our digital world. AT&T and Compudopt have distributed nearly 120 laptops to Boonville area residents since last summer. The laptop distribution is part of the AT&T Connected Learning initiative, a companywide commitment to help address the digital divide through internet accessibility, affordability and safe adoption. In Boonville, it’s estimated that more than 1,100 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.
Boonville Mayor Charlie Wyatt says: “It’s hard to believe this day is already here. AT&T committed to completing this high-speed broadband project across the city on time and on budget, and that’s just what they did. And because they’ve been such a great collaborator, more than 4,000 homes, farms and businesses will now have the connectivity they need to be successful.”
AT&T Indiana President Bill Soards adds: “We’re so appreciative that the city trusted us with this transformative project. Indiana communities both small and large deserve this kind of fibre connectivity. We’re excited to continue to work with Hoosier cities, towns and counties to make that happen.”
Boonville Now Executive Director Jim Miller says of the laptop donations: “This is the second time in less than a year that AT&T has jumped in to help our community with connected devices, Thanks to their generosity, more of our local residents will now be better able to do their jobs, communicate with their health care providers or do their homework. It’s such a wonderful gift.”