Bringing Fiber Optic Connectivity to Rural Areas with Berry-IT

THE CHALLENGE

Thirty-nine percent of Americans in rural areas, or 23 million people, don’t have access to high-speed internet. This is compared to the four percent of Americans in urban areas who lack access to broadband. For people in urban areas who sift through their Amazon Prime and Netflix choices each evening, the inability to stream at high speeds probably seems inconceivable. However, too many rural area homes and businesses deal with this reality every day.

Intelligent Fiber Network (IFN) is hard at work looking to rectify the lack of high-speed internet for rural area businesses. IFN has found that success often lies in partnering with other providers. IFN’s work with Berry-IT, an underground utility service installer based in Kokomo, Indiana, shows how these partnerships can benefit rural Indiana communities – in this case, Walton, Indiana, and Royal Center, Indiana.

THE GOAL

Outside of the physical process of building fiber optic routes, the goal was simple: By bringing high-speed bandwidth to rural Indiana areas, business owners and entrepreneurs can experience what were previously considered “luxuries.” Businesses in the area are open to new possibilities, such as online ordering, that would previously not have been possible without high-speed internet. Because the individuals living in rural areas often tend to have little high-speed internet experience, Berry-IT founder James Berry worked with Walton and Royal Center residents to educate consumers on what all could be done with the new services. IFN and Berry-IT made it a mutual mission that the fiber lines to these communities would not be capped and could handle as much bandwidth as needed.

THE RESULTS

Intelligent Fiber Network provides fiber optic connectivity to businesses in rural areas. Berry-IT performs the actual construction of the fiber optic networks for companies such as IFN. BerryComm, the sister company of Berry-IT, provides internet services to individuals and residences. Having these three companies work together paved the way for Walton and Royal Center’s high-speed internet service to homes and businesses.

Intelligent Fiber Network worked with Berry-IT to build 10 miles of fiber optic lines just to reach the towns before laying the fiber optics for residents to access. From there, BerryComm was able to provide the internet services to around 250 customers, with 20 of those being consumer businesses. This partnership brought over 1GB of speed to each town – about 40 times the minimum download speed the FCC uses to define high-speed broadband – with customers experiencing fast and reliable connectivity.

“BerryComm and Intelligent Fiber Network share a goal: to provide high-speed internet to rural areas in Indiana,” said Jim Turner, CEO of Intelligent Fiber Network. “We were honored to work with James and his teams on these projects, from options on building and purchasing the fiber, to implementing the final plans. We hope to continue our work together in the future to connect more rural Indiana towns.”