Indiana Invests $81.5 Million in Grant Program

The fourth round of the Next Level Connections Broadband Grant program results in a total investment of $216 million.

Indiana Invests $81.5 Million in Grant Program
Photo of Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb

June 10, 2024 – Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Thursday an additional $81.5 million in the fourth and final round of the Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program.

This latest investment is expected to bring more than 34,000 homes and businesses in more than 54 counties across Indiana high-speed internet access.

“The first-of-its-kind broadband grant program has connected thousands of Hoosiers in nearly every corner of the state,” Holcomb said. “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.

This round of the Next Level Connections program includes 17 telecommunication providers and utility cooperatives contributing more than $135 million in matching funds, bringing the total investment to $216 million.

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

The program has awarded $328 million to connect more than 102,000 addresses across the state. Since 2018, the state has leveraged more than $426 million in private investment. By the conclusion of the grant program, broadband projects will have been completed in 88 of Indiana’s 92 counties.

Indiana’s Office of Community and Rural Affairs administers the program and will be working with service providers on next steps of the grant process. OCROA Executive Director Duke Bennett said that “these projects will help bridge the digital divide many Hoosiers experience and enhance the overall quality of life for our rural communities.”

The Next Level Connections Program is part of Holcomb’s $1 billion Next Level Connections infrastructure program, which includes investments in highway projects, airport expansion and rail projects. After the initial $100 million dedicated to broadband expansion, the state allocated an additional $250 million to continue the program. 

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