Martinsville, Ind. – Mayor Kenneth W Costin announced today that the City of Martinsville and Meridiam has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the firm to build and operate a fiber network to bring high-speed internet to Martinsville residences. By the end of the year, the City plans to enter into an agreement with the infrastructure developer to construct an open-access fiber-optic network delivering gigabit-class (and greater) broadband service throughout Martinsville, including the city’s low-income neighborhoods. Meridiam intends to begin construction in 2022. The estimated amount of investment is expected to be around $10 Million.
Establishing a high-speed, city-wide fiber network has been a priority of the Costin administration, with the goal of providing broad and equitable access to essential 21st-century technology. Since 2020, the City has sought a partner that shares the City’s commitment to digital equity to develop, build and operate a city-wide, financially feasible system featuring open architecture to encourage its use by multiple providers. After several explorations of prospective partnerships with fiber network providers, this LOI is the culmination of nearly a year of discussion with and site visits from Meridiam.
The City and Meridiam plan to execute a full agreement in Q1 2022. Meridiam will then complete its detailed engineering analysis to plan and design the build-out of the open-access fiber network. Meridiam plans to contract with at least one internet service provider to use the new network to deliver high-speed services within Martinsville. Meridiam expects to build the network without a financial commitment from the City. The City and Meridiam are exploring a financial partnership to fund a substantial digital equity program to improve access for residences in low-income areas.
The LOI stipulates that Meridiam intends to build a broadband network covering virtually all and at least 85% of Martinsville residences. The LOI indicates the network will be an open-access model, meaning that any internet provider may lease the infrastructure after an initial restricted period. The LOI commits Meridiam and the City to achieve digital equity goals and the principle of net neutrality–that all internet communications are to be treated equally.
Meridiam is a leading public infrastructure developer, investor, and manager specializing in greenfield infrastructure and committed to delivering sustainable and resilient projects that positively impact communities for the long term. As a mission-driven firm built on ESG and SDG values, we believe sustainability can be best achieved if it is incorporated into the financing, design, building, operating and long-term maintenance of infrastructure projects, and is rigorously measured with the support of its tailor-made tool called Simpl.
We thrive in primary key sectors of sustainable mobility (including roads, rail, tramways, airports, electric buses, and electric vehicle charging points), innovative low carbon solutions (including water and waste facilities and energy efficiency projects), critical public services (including healthcare, schools, public buildings, and digital infrastructure). We invest globally in ca. 100 projects and assets under development, construction, or operation, in 26 countries representing $18 billion USD in assets under management.
Meridiam is a partner of choice to the public sector in North America with a strong investment and project portfolio, a demonstrated track record, and extensive industry expertise. Meridiam started investing in 2006 with our first European fund, then deployed, and is managing our first North American $870 million Fund, and we are now in the process of deploying our second-generation $1.2 billion North America Fund. At present, we manage 17 different infrastructure projects in the US and Canada and continue to develop new projects.