City grants 20-year tax abatement to Meridiam for high speed internet infrastructure

COLUMBUS, Ind. — City officials have granted a major tax deduction to a company that promises to provide high-speed internet infrastructure to most of Columbus.

Columbus City Council has approved a 20-year personal property tax abatement for Hoosier Networks LLC. The council also passed a resolution confirming the creation of a citywide Economic Revitalization Area to facilitate the request.

The abatement is part of efforts to create a fiber-to-home network throughout the city of Columbus. The Columbus Board of Works approved a 30-year master development agreement with Meridiam Infrastructure North America Corp. for the project in late June. City officials have said that the network will reach at least 85% of the city, and the company will contract with an internet service provider rather than being the provider itself.

Hoosier Networks LLC, which requested the tax abatement for the installation of new, qualifying equipment, is owned by Meridiam. Meridiam Senior Investment Director Nick Phillips said that the “fiber to the premise” network will support high-speed internet for both homes and businesses within the city. The project calls for the installation of new IT equipment, which in turn necessitates an investment of approximately $28 million. According to the company’s application, this investment will take place over “a several year period” starting this year.

Bartholomew County is also working with Meridiam and is contributing $4 million to its own project with the company. The sum comes from the county’s American Rescue Plan allotment. County Commissioner Tony London also expects the company to request a tax abatement from the county.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.