Sidney to celebrate future arrival of broadband today

By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

The town of Sidney, the last community without internet service in Kosciusko County, is finally getting the help it needs. 

The town later today will celebrate with a groundbreaking ceremony as Kosciusko Connect works to provide fiber to the town of some 120 residents.

Amy Rowe

Kosciusko County Community Coordinator Amy Roe, who heads up the group known as HELP — Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program — worked to coordinate funding from the county’s ARPA fund to match money from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (often referred to as OCRA) to cover the cost of the project.

Extending broadband has been a federal and state priority and Roe said assisting Sidney was a “no-brainer.”

While most Americans have ample broadband access, the little town in southeast Kociusko County had been too far away from other broadband sources for it to be extended until now.

As Rowe learned more about the circumstances, she heard how difficult — impossible it was – for students to do their homework online and for phone customers to even make a phone call.

“To hear the stories of the things they had to experience shocked me,” Rowe said 

She said some residents still have a sense of disbelief when told internet service was on the way.

“They were excited and, I think, hopeful, that they might be able to have some basic needs met that they haven’t in the past,” Rowe said.

Extending broadband is already underway, but it was unclear when the service would be ready.

It’s also the first brick-and-mortar accomplishment for the organization known as HELP.

The town will celebrate the soon-to-be-realized achievement at 4 p.m. Thursday at the Sidney-Jackson Township Fire Station.

An ice cream social will be held on Saturday as Kosciusko Connect begins sharing details of the service with residents.