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A ‘Hoosier’ Thank You

Innovation requires both courage and compassion. It takes courage because there is no guarantee that the new thing you’re trying to do will succeed. But true innovation – something beyond mere change – also requires compassion, the belief that this success should be shared by everyone, not just a select few.

In August 2019, Indiana’s Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program awarded Tipmont a grant for our Klondike build. I am proud to share that Tipmont was the first award recipient to complete the funded project. We completed construction and provided service within six months of the grant award.

In celebration of that accomplishment, Indiana Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch visited our Battle Ground office on August 12 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. During her visit, we shared our success in bringing broadband to areas desperately in need.

Prior to Indiana’s Next Level Connections grant program there wasn’t a push to address rural Hoosier broadband speeds, despite the growing need. Our state legislators showed tremendous leadership and a Hoosier can-do spirit by assuming responsibility and enabling solutions. The Governor, Lt. Gov., state senators and representatives all deserve recognition for establishing a program that is second to none in delivering resources where they are most needed.

In early September 2020, the state announced funding recipients for the program’s second phase. Tipmont was awarded over $16 million – more than any other applicant – for projects in our electric service areas. By being the first to complete the grant-funded project from the first round of state funding last year, Tipmont has proven to state officials that we will put the grant dollars to good use.

As I write this in mid-September, our engineering team is earnestly planning the next two years of our fiber build since the grant funding stipulates that construction must be complete within 24 months. We look forward to sharing the details with you as soon as we can.

I want to reiterate my gratitude to our Indiana legislators for their leadership and investment in rural broadband. As always, I welcome your thoughts at ceo@tipmont.org.

Picture of Ron Holcomb

Ron Holcomb

Ron is a 30-year veteran of the electric utility industry with extensive experience in power supply, advanced grid technologies, essential service operations, economic development and value-driven growth initiatives for combined electric and telecommunication utilities. During his career, he has led three utilities as President/CEO and provided management consulting to utilities across the country. Ron joined Tipmont as CEO in summer 2013. He holds a B.S. in Physics from Austin Peay State University and an MBA from Murray State University.

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