Gov. Eric Holcomb recently announced an initial round of broadband infrastructure expansion projects for several rural areas. It is part of the new state budget passed in the 2019 legislative session that all Indiana House Republicans supported.
The Next Level Broadband program awarded just over $22 million in funding for broadband expansion in 11 locations across Indiana. This will provide reliable and affordable internet access to underserved areas in 12 counties, including more than 4,800 homes and businesses.
Indiana’s Next Level Broadband program is a $100 million investment in ensuring rural residents are connected to dependable internet service, helping to close a digital divide with those who live in our urban centers.
For the first round of funding, telecommunications providers applied for up to $5 million in funding to expand internet service to unserved areas if they offered at least a 20 percent match. Unserved areas are defined as those that don’t even have one provider with internet speeds of at least 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload – considered the speeds necessary for the most basic service.
Seven providers and utility cooperatives pledged $14 million to match Next Level Broadband’s $22.1 million commitment, totaling just over $36 million in new internet service for the state. The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, tasked with leading the application process, selected 11 projects.
Those broadband expansions will result in internet service of up to one gigabyte, the highest download and upload speeds currently available on the market. Click here for more details.
The broadband infrastructure improvements are just one facet of Holcomb’s $1 billion Next Level Connections program. Other objectives include expediting major highway projects, generating more nonstop flights at state airports and expanding railroads in northwest Indiana. A commitment to providing superior infrastructure establishes economic opportunities for all Hoosiers.