More than 50,000 locations around Indiana will soon have faster internet connections thanks to a $189 million investment by the state.
The office of Gov. Eric Holcomb announced $189 million for 154 broadband infrastructure expansion projects across the state, the third round of the Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program. The funding is expected to improve broadband infrastructure to 52,900 homes and 80 commercial locations in 80 counties, including some locations in Northwest Indiana and the Elkhart area.
“This record-setting investment in broadband is another game-changer for Hoosiers who now, more than ever, need affordable, reliable internet,” Holcomb said. “With this third round, we take giant steps in leveling the playing field for our residents regardless of where they choose to live, work or go to school.”
The Next Level Broadband Grant Program is a state program to improve broadband access. In total, rounds one, two and three of the have awarded $268 million for broadband infrastructure for more than 74,800 homes and commercial locations, the state said.
When combined with private and local investment, more than $580 million has been leveraged since 2018. Projects will have been completed in 83 of Indiana’s 92 counties through the three rounds of the awards.
In addition to the $189 million awarded by the state, the 35 telecommunications providers and utility cooperatives contributed more than $239 million in matching funds, resulting in more than $429 million total investment for broadband in the third round, the state said.
The program allows broadband service providers and utility cooperatives to apply for up to $5 million to expand service to unserved areas if they provide at least a 20% match.