Ninestar Connect to Build Fiber Network in Cumberland, IN.

  • NineStar Connect
GREENFIELD, IN — NineStar Connect, a smart utility providing water, sewer, electric and high speed fiber services, announced that the Town of Cumberland, Indiana, voted to accept its offer to acquire Gem Water Utility, which the town has owned since 2010.

As part of the acquisition, NineStar Connect will retire Cumberland’s bond debt for Gem Water Utility, and has committed its Central Indiana Communications, Inc. (CICI) for-profit communications subsidiary will build a fiber optic network that connects Cumberland’s town hall and other municipal facilities, including municipal parks and trails, enabling greater public safety and quality of place enhancements like security cameras and public WiFi.

Fiber to Each Home and Business
Upon closing, each Gem Water customer will become a member of the NineStar Connect cooperative. Within 18 to 24 months of the sale date, NineStar said it intends to begin building high speed fiber optic facilities to each home and business within the Gem Water Utility territory.

“It is a mission of the NineStar board of directors to provide all co-op members fiber to their homes and businesses. This allows for more efficient delivery of utility services and provides members with access to the fastest broadband services available anywhere in the United States,” said Michael Burrow, president and CEO of NineStar Connect. “High speed fiber and a strong utility infrastructure are essential to a community’s ability to economically succeed and for residents to have a quality of place that maintains and enhances their property values.”

Building Utilities that Boost Economic Development
NineStar has a strong history of building and running utilities that contribute to the economic development of Hancock County and surrounding areas. As a nonprofit co-op, members elect its board of directors who make critical decisions that impact the community. Any excess money generated by utility services is allocated back to members as capital credits. Over the last 10 years, NineStar has returned more than $4 million in cash back to its members by retiring those capital credits.

Gem Utilities serves approximately 500 water customers in a territory that lies between Cumberland’s eastern boundary and NineStar’s current water service territory around Philadelphia in western Hancock County. With this acquisition, NineStar’s water customer base will go from 100 to 600 water customers, which allows the utility to operate and grow more efficiently and promote economic growth.

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