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Indiana receives additional $187M federal funds to improve broadband access

Indiana has been awarded $187 million for broadband infrastructure through the American Rescue Plan’s Capital Projects Fund, which will provide high-speed internet to more than 50,000 Hoosiers who lack access to adequate service.

This round of funding is in addition to previous grants of $350 million for improving broadband access provided by the American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Connecticut, Nebraska, North Dakota and Arkansas also received a share of the award, which totals $408 million and is expected to connect more than 90,000 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed internet, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which announced the awards Tuesday, August 30.

“The pandemic upended life as we knew it – from work to school to connecting with friends and family – and exposed the stark inequity in access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet in communities across the country, but especially in rural, Tribal, and low-income communities,” Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo said in a statement. “This funding will lay the foundation for the Biden-Harris administration’s historic investments to increase access to high-speed internet and reduce broadband bills for American households and businesses.”

The Indiana plan approved by the Treasury Department will provide service that meets or exceeds symmetrical download and upload speeds of 100 megabits per second, which are necessary for multiple users in a household to access the internet simultaneously.

Funds will be administered in Indiana through the state’s Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program. The purpose of the NLC program is to extend broadband infrastructure and service to locations that currently lack internet speeds of at least 25/3 Mbps, especially school buildings, rural health clinics, and households with students.

To be selected by NLC for grant awards, service providers must participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program, providing high-speed internet at discounted rates to qualifying consumers.

In May the White House announced that 20 service providers have agreed to offer all ACP-eligible households high-speed internet plans for $30 per month or less.

This article originally appeared on The Center Square.

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