The City of Bloomington and infrastructure developer Meridiam signed a letter of intent Tuesday to construct a fiber network, which will allow Bloomington residents to operate with high-speed internet, according to a City of Bloomington press release.
The plan stated in the letter will provide at least 85% of Bloomington residents with a broadband network. Meridiam and the city are committed to their goal of digital equity, allowing internet communications to be equally accessible.
The agreement to execute this plan will be made by the end of 2021 between the City of Bloomington and Meridiam to allow construction of a broadband service for Bloomington neighborhoods, including low-income residents. This fiber optic network will be open access.
Construction is planned to begin in 2022, according to the release.
Mayor John Hamilton said he plans to use $40 million to invest in the city’s digital infrastructure to provide residents with high-speed and equitable internet access, according to the release.
“We are outlining a major step to equip Bloomingtonians with the tools they need to learn, work, and fully participate in contemporary life, and at the same time advancing our city’s economic development,” Hamilton said in the release.
Following a planned agreement by the end of this year, Meridiam will complete its engineering analysis for the fiber network with open access.
This letter of intent is part of Bloomington’s plan included in the Digital Equity Strategic Plan, according to the release.