Lakeland Internet considered Fremont an untapped market for broadband and decided to change that.

The internet service provider based about eight miles southwest of the community, in Angola, has started offering broadband in Fremont with download speeds of up to 25 megabits per second.

The offering will allow customers there to access online video services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu on multiple devices, which Lakeland said was not possible previously.

“Our goal is to bring the latest and best technology to the region, allowing the people of northeast Indiana the opportunity to effectively connect to our rapidly changing digital world,” Mark Byler, its general manager, said in a statement.

“Fremont is the latest expansion where we’re offering our customers the ability to maximize their experience on the internet.”

Lakeland offers broadband plans starting at $29.95 monthly for download speeds of up to 1 Mbps. The plan with the top download speed it offers, of 25 Mbps, costs $99.95 monthly, and a 20 Mbps plan is available for $10 less than that.

The installation offered by Lakeland includes Wi-Fi setup and a standard mount and is customized. The installation usually is complete within 48 hours, the company said.

More information on the service is available at

Lakeland was founded by Chuck Surack several years ago out of frustration with the lack of broadband access at his lake home.

It announced June 5 that it had closed in mid-May on the purchase of the ZipSpider broadband provider serving eight counties in northeast Indiana, northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan from an Angola headquarters.

Satellite ground system contract extended

A Harris Corp. contract for the ground system operating the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather satellites the company supplies has been lengthened for three years through a $284 million, sole-source extension.

The NOAA contract announced last month will bring new technologies to the ground system operating the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R Series weather satellites, which will increase and improve its capabilities.

Harris engineers in Fort Wayne make the Advanced Baseline Imager, which is the primary payload on the satellites.

The ground system controls the imager and other instruments on NOAA’s new GOES-16 and GOES-17 geostationary weather satellites, and will control them on the GOES-T and GOES-U after those satellites launch, the company said in a statement.

The ground system is spread out over three sites in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia with thousands of servers connected by about 100 miles of cables. It collects 3.5 terabytes of science data daily, which it processes to provide life-saving alerts such as severe weather warnings and fire detection in nearly real time.

It receives the satellite data reliably and securely via half a dozen 16.4-meter antennas capable of functioning during a hurricane, and Harris said it is able to make that information available to meteorologists and others within seconds.

The contract extension will update the ground-computing infrastructure of the system operating the satellites while reducing its information technology footprint and preparing it for eventual migration to cloud technologies.

The extension also will lengthen Harris’ partnership with NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service to 13 years and brings the total value of the ground system contract to $1.65 billion.

Ocean NEI to meet this month in Fort Wayne

Ocean NEI has scheduled a community event for area entrepreneurs at Welch’s Ale House later this month.

Welch’s is in downtown Fort Wayne at 1915 S. Calhoun St. and Ocean members will meet there at 6 p.m. June 27 to talk about influence “and how leadership flows from the inside out,” an announcement said. “Whether you have 20 team members or it’s just you, you are a leader.”

Fort Wayne-based Ambassador Enterprises established Ocean NEI last year as a partner of Cincinnati-based Ocean Inc. to bring the region access to its programs, which were designed to transform the business and spiritual lives of entrepreneurs.

Networking is an important part of Ocean community events. Its founders believe participating in a community where faith and entrepreneurship intersect offers the chance to form authentic relationships and want to see members benefit from that.

Some of the independent, nonprofit group’s programming was developed by entrepreneurs from Cincinnati’s Crossroads Church.

Build Institute graduates first 11entrepreneurs

The Build Institute Fort Wayne Business Planning Education class has graduated its first 11 local entrepreneurs.

The class sponsored by Indiana Michigan Power and the city’s Summit City Entrepreneur and Enterprise District was developed to guide individuals through the process of creating a business plan.

It is adaptable to any kind of business startup and the Build Institute program that offers it provides childcare and meals along with it to remove any participation barriers.

“We at the SEED are pleased and excited to play a part in changing the lives of these individuals and their families and know that they will have an impact on the economic landscape of the city of Fort Wayne,” Pat Turner, SEED’s board president, said in a statement.

A $175 participation fee is returned to graduates who complete the course to invest in the businesses they are starting. Individuals interesting in registering for a Build Institute course can find applications for that and more information at or by emailing

The institute’s Session 4 is scheduled to take place 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays July 10 through Aug. 28 at the Center for Creative Collaboration at Indiana Tech‘s Cunningham Business Center, 1600 E. Washington Blvd. in Fort Wayne.

Veteran reporter Doug LeDuc joined Business Weekly in 2006 and primarily covers banking and finance and technology. You can send information for his weekly column to or call 260-426-2640, ext. 3309.

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