JCFiber expands service again in rural Johnson County

A local internet provider has announced its final expansion phases, with more internet access for rural residents expected by next spring.

JCFiber, a subsidiary of JCREMC, announced last week the locations of its fifth and sixth fiber internet expansion zones to under-served areas within JCREMC’s electric service territory. The completion of these zones will bring “much-needed” fiber internet to every corner of Johnson County, according to a JCFiber news release.

Zone 5 runs along the rural areas in the northeast corner of the county, situated east of Interstate 65 and north of Needham. Zone 6 covers rural areas in the middle of the county, generally between State Road 135 and U.S. 31, from New Whiteland to State Road 252. Company officials say residents will soon begin seeing mainline construction in these areas and will be notified by postcard when they are eligible for sign up.

The expansion is part of a 4-year plan kicked off by JCFiber in December 2020, taking broadband internet service to under-served residents, who currently have no wired quality internet solution. The location of the company’s fourth zone in southeastern Johnson County was announced last year.

With the initiative, rural areas will have access to “superior technology” by spring 2024, company officials say.

“We are excited to continue expanding the best available technology to residents of our community who don’t currently have access to high-quality, high-speed internet,” said John Sturm, JCFiber president and JCREMC CEO. “Fiber internet can be life-changing for rural residents who have previously struggled to work, learn, stream, and game from home.”

In a statement, county commissioner Kevin Walls praised JCFiber’s work to expand internet access to rural residents.

“JCFiber was the only high-quality wired internet provider who expressed interest to our county commissioners in making certain all rural residents would get the internet service they needed, today and into the future,” Walls said. “Their early commitment and continued progress to reach every rural resident is impressive, and we are pleased that JCFiber stepped up for our county.”

Company officials say they offer a “no-gimmick” and no hidden fees pricing model for internet service. Monthly prices are as stated for all consumers, and the company’s only price changes have been reductions that were immediately extended to all customers — not just to new sign-ups, according to the news release.

JCFiber also participates in the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program. Qualifying consumers can enroll at fcc.gov/affordable-connectivity-program-providers.

In terms of the company’s other expansion zones, Zones 1 to 4 are nearing completion.

All residents in Zone 1 are eligible to sign up for service. In Zone 2, 95% are eligible, and in Zone 3, 75% are eligible. In Zone 4, 30% are eligible, company officials say.

Households will be notified by postcard when service becomes available, company officials say. To check sign-up eligibility, go to jcfiber.com.