Paris-based infrastructure company Meridiam will invest $50 million to provide high-speed internet access to Bloomington residents, following a letter of intent to help Bloomington with the program, according to a May 13 press release. . The plan would affect at least 85% of the inhabitants.
Meridiam will build and operate a fiber network, which allows data to travel faster than wireless or cable connections. After a short period of exclusivity, Meridiam will allow open access to local Internet Service Providers.
A key component of the program is the Digital Equity Initiative, coupled with a $1 million investment from the City of Bloomington. According to the press release, a combination of the Digital Equity Plan and the $30 National Affordable Connectivity Program will provide eligible low-income residents with high-speed Internet access at zero net cost.
Meridiam plans to begin construction as early as the fourth quarter of 2022.
In the statement, Mayor John Hamilton said Meridiam discussed plans to bring fiber networks to other southern Indiana cities, including Shelbyville, Martinsville and Columbus.