City of South Bend named a broadband ready community

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- A certification from the Indiana Broadband Office marks the city of South bend as a Broadband ready community.

“This certificate, really what it does is mark South Bend officially as adopting all the broadband practices that the state has laid out,” explains Denise Linn Riedl, Chief Innovation Officer at the City of South Bend. “Things like streamline permitting, digital permitting applications, single points of contacts for broadband projects. All of these standards that we’ve now adopted internally, really make the city easier to work with.”

Being Broadband ready allows the city to be open to new investments from businesses looking to come to South Bend, making the city look more attractive for new business ventures.

“It gives those providers the confidence to come to the table and know that the city, in this case, is serious about working with them in some sort of a partnership,” says Earnie Holtrey, Deputy Director at the Indiana Broadband Office.

The certification cuts down some of the steps that are needed in order to create new broadband practices, as well as get more residents access to high-speed internet.

“It’s well known there are gaps in connectivity and levels of connectivity in rural areas that have not seen the investment there in this infrastructure, but there are also gaps in cities like South Bend,” says Mayor James Mueller.

Being broadband ready reinforces the importance of digital equity and new business opportunities across the city in a technology and internet driven era.

“This infrastructure is important for our residents and for our city to thrive as a 21st century city in this global economy,” says Rachel Tomas Morgan, Committee Chair of Innovation and Technology with the South Bend Common Council.

“I think it’s something that we sometimes might underestimate because it seems like a small thing but nowadays it really isn’t, maybe five or ten years ago that wouldn’t have been the case,” says a South Bend resident, Lachelle Barnett.

Indiana Broadband Office

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