A new state grant will help fund the expansion of high-speed internet to residences in Miami, Howard and Tipton counties, with the largest amount of funding going to Miami-Cass REMC.
The Indiana Connectivity Program in total awarded more than $654,000 to expand broadband access to 253 addresses across 40 Indiana counties.
The program is a new resource designed to help more Hoosier residents and business owners obtain access to high-speed, quality broadband.
Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch said the program is unique because homeowners and business owners themselves can apply, rather than broadband providers initiating the interest.
In Miami County, 28 addresses will connect to broadband through nearly $209,000 awarded to Miami-Cass REMC. That is the most addresses and funding of any county in the state. Those residences are located throughout the entire length of the county, with the most located north of Peru.
The funding comes after four internet providers earlier this month were awarded state funding from another state program to expand broadband access to locations around Miami County.
AT&T, Miami-Cass REMC, RTC Communications and Heartland REMC all received money from the Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program.
Areas that will receive expanded broadband access from that program include Converse, Amboy, Denver, Roann and Wawpecong. The largest area is located east of Peru in the area of Francis Slocum State Forest.
In Howard County, three residences will connect to high-speed internet through the Indiana Connectivity Program, all of which are located in the far western part of the county. In Tipton County, two addresses will connect.
Of the 253 addresses funded statewide, 246 are households and seven are businesses. Internet providers carrying out the projects are matching over $1.5 million for a total investment of $2.2 million.
Broadband providers must complete their projects within nine months of the contract date.
The program accepts addresses on a rolling basis.
“We are empowering Hoosiers and giving them a voice to express their need for broadband service, helping expand broadband to more people across the state,” Crouch said in a release. “This program is still available for Hoosiers to apply, and I encourage them to submit their address.”