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City of Bloomington, Indiana

City Ceases Fiber Broadband Exploration with Axia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

April 20, 2017

For more information, please contact:

Mary Catherine Carmichael, Communications Director, carmichm@bloomington.in.gov, 812-219-2679

City Ceases Fiber Broadband Exploration with Axia

Bloomington, Ind. - Negotiations between the City and Canadian-based Axia have ended without an agreement.

"This is not the news we had hoped to report, but our commitment to finding a partner for a citywide fiber network -- one that leaves no neighborhood behind -- remains unchanged," stated Mayor John Hamilton. "Axia's business model was unique and new to the United States. It fit our goals well. But apparently Axia's private equity investors couldn't get comfortable enough with the new business model. The new federal administration's pull back from commitments to open and affordable broadband has also changed the climate for progressive efforts in this arena.

"Despite these challenges, we in Bloomington remain committed to exploring the best options to accomplish citywide fiber, which is the twenty-first century infrastructure needed and desired by so many of our residents, businesses, educational institutions, and healthcare providers.

"I have said since our announcement in December that if Axia decides it cannot sustainably create the open network as agreed, then the City will re-open negotiations with other potential providers.

"As our efforts continue, it is important to note that much good has come already from engaging in this process. Our city is better informed about the value a citywide fiber network would bring to the area. We have learned that Bloomington is an attractive market. And since we've pursued this important infrastructure, we have also seen existing providers increase options and investments with new levels of services for some of our residents.

"We knew this was a big challenge, but it is right to take it on. Recently, 67% of respondents to our soon-to-be-released City Survey ranked "Citywide high-speed fiber for internet access" as essential or very important. As we go forward we remain committed to finding the right fiber network fit for Bloomington."

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