Aug. 16—GREENSBURG — Indiana Farm Bureau is sponsoring an "internet speed test" and needs help from local residents to complete it.
Internet connectivity, the ability to reach the internet from any given spot is very important in the modern world. As the lion's share of retail shopping, banking and even chatting with a neighbor is now impossible without an internet hook-up, cell phones and computers are essential to our daily lives.
For many of us, quick and easy access to the internet is something we take for granted.
But for those who live in remote areas in the county, far from any of the hubs in Decatur County — Greensburg, Westport or Lake Santee, for example — access to the internet is not even possible.
This was evidenced during the pandemic when local children had to conduct their education from home. County residents in remote locations needed to drive their children close to places like the Greensburg/Decatur County Public Library or near any of the local schools just for their kids to do their homework.
In February 2020, Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch published the Indiana Statewide Broadband Strategic Plan that commits $100 million in grant funding for Indiana organizations working to improve Indiana's quality of place.
"In today's digital economy, a lack of broadband access means a lack of access to education, healthcare, job opportunities and everyday needs. Broadband is what connects most constituents to the everyday world," Crouch states in the strategic plan.
Bryan Robbins is the Executive Director of the Greensburg/Decatur County Economic Development Corporation, an 18 director board of local community leaders and major industry representatives tasked with attracting new investors to the area.
He has noted that communities that are "broadband ready" are more attractive to interests considering bringing their business to Decatur County, and this includes internet providers who can fill in the gaps in Decatur County where access to the internet is not currently possible.
"In order to attract more (internet) providers, those providers need to be assured that their service will be utilized, that there is significant demand in a particular area to warrant an investment," Robbins said. "Indiana Farm Bureau is helping address those issues of low and no connectivity in rural areas."
Testing internet speed in our area will help update existing reports with current data, and the more accurate the data the more opportunities there will be for future grant applications to enhance the county's access to broadband.
"Decatur County is very close to receiving certification, and we continue to work with the State to pass the last few hurdles," Robbins said.
To complete the internet speed test at your place of business, home or other connection points, go to https://www.infarmbureau.org/resources/broadband-speed-test by September 26.
For more information about the EDC, go to www.edcgdc.com/.
Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-651-0876 or email email@example.com