Projects earn grants from Next Level Connections program

Three projects in North Central Indiana received funding from the fourth round of awards in Indiana’s Next Level Connections program.

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced $81.5 million in additional funds in the final round of the program. Fifty projects were funded. More than 34,000 homes and businesses in 54 counties will gain access to broadband infrastructure as a result of this round of the program.

“The first-of-its-kind broadband grant program has connected thousands of Hoosiers in nearly every corner of the state,” Holcomb said in a press release. “It has been a model program that other states have tried to replicate to solve the inequitable technology gap that exists across the country. The program ensures that every resident has access to information which unlocks the door to opportunity and leads to a brighter better connected future.”

Seventeen telecommunications providers applied for the grants up to $5 million. They also had to provide a 20% match.

“Broadband expansion isn’t just about connecting homes, it’s about connecting Hoosiers to a brighter future,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s secretary of agriculture and rural development. “Reliable, high-speed internet unlocks opportunities for education, health care and jobs, improving the quality of life for all Indiana residents.”

Three Northwest Indiana providers received grants, including:

  • Brightspeed requested almost $1.2 million for a project in Marshall, St. Joseph and Starke counties.
  • Jasper County REMC requested $2 million for a project in Jasper, Newton, Pulaski, White counties.
  • Surf Air Wireless reequested almost $3 million for a project in La Porte, Marshall, Porter, St. Joseph, Starke counties.

Since 2018 when the program began, the state has awarded $328 million to infrastructure projects that connect 102,000 homes to broadband.

Find a map of the fourth round’s projects here.

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