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Koch: FIBRE Act Passes Senate
Updated March 10, 2017 6:49 AM
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(STATEHOUSE) - Rural Indiana could see more high-speed Broadband Internet service under a bill authored by State Sen. Eric Koch (R-Bedford) that passed the Indiana Senate last week by a vote of 48-2.

Senate Bill 478, the Facilitating Internet Broadband Rural Expansion (FIBRE) Act, would allow Indiana's rural electric cooperatives (REMCs) to provide high-speed Internet service to their members by permitting them to install fiber optic cables on their existing infrastructure over electric easements.

"In the 15 years that I have been working to promote rural Broadband in Indiana, this initiative has the most potential to fill the gaps in the unserved and underserved areas of our state," said Koch. "Almost by definition, the areas served by our rural electric co-ops are those most unserved with high-speed Internet service."

"The expansion of broadband service is essential to education, economic development and the quality of life in rural Indiana," said Tom VanParis, CEO of Indiana Electric Cooperatives. "Sen. Koch's leadership is an important step to removing barriers to provide this important service."

SB 478 will now be considered by the House of Representatives.

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