3rd round of Next Level Connections broadband expansion to include hundreds of homes, businesses in Fulton County

(Sarah Welliver/The Elkhart Truth)

Governor Eric Holcomb has announced $189 million for 154 broadband infrastructure expansion projects across the state in the third round of the Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program.

The Next Level Broadband Grant Program is the largest single state investment in broadband. In total, rounds one, two and three of the program have awarded $268 million for broadband infrastructure for more than 74,800 homes and commercial locations. When combined with private and local investment, over $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.

The third round of funding will provide broadband infrastructure to more than 52,900 homes and commercial locations in 80 counties.

For example, 810 homes and 362 businesses or organizations in Cass and Fulton counties will gain broadband access with a $4 million grant to RTC Communications.

In addition to the $189 million just awarded, 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 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 percent match.

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