Unincorporated Vanderburgh Co. residents promised internet by late 2023

Unincorporated Vanderburgh Co. residents promised internet by late 2023
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 7:53 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 5, 2022 at 6:54 PM CDT
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VANDERBURGH CO., Ind. (WFIE) - A 2022 Purdue University study found around 12% of Hoosiers don’t have stable internet access.

Vanderburgh County is trying to do its part to bridge the digital divide.

“Every resident of Vanderburgh County is now finally going to have access, scaled access, to the internet,” said AT&T CEO John Stankey.

The expansion, officials say, has been in the works ever since Indiana passed legislation supporting broadband internet.

“Every single Vanderburgh County property, unincorporated Vanderburgh County property, will have fiber to their home,” said Vanderburgh County Commissioner Cheryl Musgrave.

Wednesday’s announcement at Farm 57 was about more than just residential internet.

“We’re able to have guests, which we didn’t have that before, that was really bad,” said Farm 57 co-owner Stephanie Peckenpaugh. “It’s been a lot better in those respects.”

Farm 57 is located in what’s considered unincorporated Vanderburgh County.

Some examples of unincorporated Vanderburgh County include:

  • Armstrong
  • Earle
  • Harwood
  • McCutchanville
  • Smyth

When Peckenpaugh’s daughter, Sydney, had school online during the pandemic, internet wasn’t always reliable.

“I did a lot of my school here at the farm, and connection sometimes, it wasn’t very strong,” Sydney said.

Every Wednesday, Farm 57 hosts its weekly food truck night. The AT&T expansion is not only a game changer, it’s a business changer.

“We’ve got very strong coverage through the area, it seems good so far,” said Farm 57 co-owner Aaron Peckenpaugh.

Given the event thrives on an outdoor atmosphere, a wide range also aids in business.

“This has really extended us to be able to be outside as well as inside,” Stephanie Peckenpaugh said.

AT&T CEO John Stankey says the lines will last, for a long time.

“Fiber is the most durable technology out there, so Vanderburgh County is going to be well positioned for decades to come,” Stankey said.

The expansion holds the possibility to bring more business, and more residents to Vanderburgh County.

“I feel comfortable should we ever face another pandemic,” Musgrave said. “But I feel comfortable that anybody who telecommutes anywhere, can do that from Vanderburgh County.”