Fiber network with 1 Gigabit internet service likely to start construction in Bloomington next week – The B Square

As early as next week (October 4, 2022), residents of the area south of the Indiana University campus may begin to see new crews working in Bloomington’s public right-of-way installing fiber optic connections.

At his regular meeting Tuesday this weekthe city’s public works board must approve an application for AEG (Atlantic Engineering Group) to work in the public right-of-way by installing the high-speed Internet fiber underground as well as between the electric poles.

AEG will work for Hoosier Networks, the company formed by Meridiam based in Paris to do business locally. Once construction is complete, the network is expected to provide 1 Gigabit service to at least 85% of Bloomington.

Other providers have already been authorized to work in Bloomington’s public right-of-way to install broadband connections.

Under the terms of Bloomington’s agreement with Meridiam, for the first five years, only one Internet Service Provider (ISP) will have access to the network. This period could be extended to seven years.

GigabitNow was announced a few weeks ago as an ISP with initial exclusive access. After the initial exclusivity period, the infrastructure is expected to become an open access network.

The initial area where the Meridiam Fiber Network is supposed to begin construction next week is bounded by 3rd Streets and 1st Streets on the north and south. It is bounded by Swain and Park Avenues on the east and west.

Three or four crews will perform the work for the initial installation area, which is expected to be completed within 30 days, according to a memo to the board from Bloomington engineering field specialist Paul Kehrberg.

The scope of the overall project is much larger than the initial work south of the IU campus. Under the terms of the deal, he must reach at least 85% of Bloomington.

Under Bloomington’s Master Development Agreement with Meridiam, Meridiam is to offer symmetric 250 megabit service to low-income residents at zero net cost.

The Bloomington (RDC) Redevelopment Commission has also approved an arrangement that reimburses Meridiam, over a 20-year period, for 95% of the approximately $10.9 million in duct and fiber property taxes, which Meridiam will pay during this period. The legal tool that must be used is a tax increment financing (TIF) area.

Hoosier Networks will also have access to approximately 17 miles of unused conduit, known as the Bloomington Digital Underground, as part of the construction and operation of its network.


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