Better internet is coming to all members
Wintek powered by Tipmont has started building fiber internet service in areas where we received grant funding from state and federal sources. Some of those areas are near your home and you may be wondering why we’re not building to your address at this time.
The reason is areas receiving grant funding must be completed within two years. We submitted grant applications for nearly every grant funding area in our electric service area that met eligibility requirements.
However, not every census block was eligible for, or received, grant funding. Rest assured, we will build until the entire Tipmont electric service area has access to broadband service. The good news is the funding we did receive allows us to hire more crews and build faster.
The lack of broadband is crippling rural communities, and the need for better internet is dire and immediate. We hear your need and will continue to fight on your behalf to deliver on our promise of better internet for every Tipmont member.
Frequently asked questions
Will I get fiber internet service from Wintek powered by Tipmont?
Yes. We plan to build Wintek fiber internet until every Tipmont electric consumer has broadband available at their service address.
Why am I not getting service sooner?
The grant funding we’ve received is helping you get service faster. When we started in spring 2019, we planned on eight years to complete the build to our electric service area. Thanks to grant funding and our acquisition of Wintek, we’ve cut that timeline nearly in half. We now expect the build to our electric service area to be complete by the end of 2024.
How were the 2021 build areas determined?
Our 2021 build areas were determined by grant funding we received from state and federal sources. To receive the grant funding, those builds must be completed within a 24-month window.
How were the grant funding areas determined?
State and federal funding areas are determined by small geographical areas called census blocks. We submitted grant applications for nearly every census block in our electric service area that met eligibility requirements. Several of our applications were challenged by other providers claiming that broadband service is already available or funding to build broadband was already awarded to another provider.
Where can I see the grant funding status of my area?
A map of where we applied for grants and their funding status is available here
Why was my area not eligible for funding?
There were two eligibility factors that prevented us from receiving more grant funding:
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC) coverage data is used to determine whether broadband is available within an area. That data is problematic because it relies on surveys of internet service providers that overstate their coverage. For example, if one customer (often, a business) in a census block has broadband service, then the FCC data reports the entire census block as being "served."
- Broadband service is defined as 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speed. By that definition, about 90% of Indiana has access to "broadband." We’re currently lobbying legislators to raise that standard.
When can I expect internet service?
Our future build timelines
will depend on several factors, including additional grant funding. We expect our entire electric footprint to have access to broadband by the end of 2024. Please register at join.wintek.com so we can keep you up to date.
What can I do?
Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) has a survey you can take to help show how dire the need is where you live. The survey is available at surveymonkey.com/r/indianabroadband
. You may want to also contact your local, state, and federal representatives and let them know you need better internet connectivity. Finally, if you live in an area that received federal funding
, please contact that provider and ask why they are not yet providing service where they claim to have received funding.