COLUMBUS, Ind. –Bartholomew County is creating a committee to help bring broadband internet access to the area through partnerships with the private sector.
The Bartholomew County Board of Commissioners approved the group’s creation Monday and appointed newly-elected commissioner Tony London as its chairman and commissioner representative. Commissioner Larry Kleinhenz called the group “the Bartholomew County Broadband Initiative.”
County residents have approached the commissioners about helping with broadband internet access, Kleinhenz said. And with schools going virtual due to COVID-19, there are now “additional pressures” for the county to help with that need.
While the commissioners have felt that broadband should be provided from the private sector without government involvement, the pandemic changes things a little bit, said Commissioner Rick Flohr.
While commissioners still don’t want to compete with companies or create a broadband utility, they said Bartholomew County does have a role to play in bringing internet access throughout the county.
“The private sector is probably a lot more willing to get involved if the county, as a group, makes some type of commitment toward the investment or toward the project,” Kleinhenz said. “We want to be a catalyst.”
For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.
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