Next Level Connections Broadband Updates
Next Level Connections Broadband Program
Stay tuned for Next Level Connections Round 4 in the first half of 2023.
Indiana will invest $270 million toward improving broadband access and adoption in Indiana. The Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program is designed to provide funds for the deployment of broadband infrastructure to provide eligible broadband service to unserved end users, which include households, businesses and community anchor institutions, such as schools and health clinics, across Indiana.
Indiana Broadband Providers serving at least 100 subscribers for at least three years in Indiana are eligible for this program. Applicants that do not meet these requirements must then meet one of the following:
- Be a corporation organized under IC 8-1-13;
- Be a corporation organized under IC 23-17 that is an electric cooperative; or
- Be a cooperative that has at least one member that is a corporation organized under 8-1-13.
Eligible registered Indiana Broadband Providers can submit project areas that commit to bringing high-speed, terrestrial broadband at more than 50/5 in areas where there is currently less than 25 Mbps. Projects can be funded for up to $5 million.
Priority of funding will be given to projects that provide symmetrical speeds of 100/100 or more to as many locations as possible per ARPA funding guidelines. Also, projects that include providing 1 gig connections to schools and/or rural health facilities will receive priority of funding, if part of an eligible project.
Eligible broadband project expenses are terrestrial capital expenses directly related to a qualified broadband project, including design, engineering, permitting, construction of “last mile” infrastructure expenses and validation of service expenses. Last mile is defined as the final leg connecting a broadband service provider’s network to the end-user customer’s on-premise telecommunication equipment. Middle mile expenses are eligible for grant funding only when they are necessary for the provision of the last mile services. Maintenance or operating expenses related to the project do not qualify as eligible activities.
Eligible Project Area
Specific addresses in Indiana that lack broadband coverage (less than actual speeds of 25 Mbps downstream); areas that lack quality, reliable access to fixed terrestrial broadband; and areas with compelling need.
All grant requests require a minimum 20% match.
Eligible projects will be evaluated by the NLC review committee staffed by multiple State agencies.
- One-page Overview
- RDOF Defaulted Census Blocks
- Federal Broadband Funding Map
- Round 1 NLC
- Round 2 NLC
- Round 3 NLC
- Next Level Connections Dashboard
For more information, please visit https://www.in.gov/ocra/nlc/
Indiana Connectivity Program
Homeowners and business owners can apply for consideration for the Indiana Connectivity Program, which opens for applicants on Monday, Sept. 27. This new tool can connect residents and businesses that lack internet service with internet service providers and assist in the expense of extending broadband to unserved and underserved locations. The Indiana Connectivity Program aims to bring high quality broadband service to unserved and underserved Hoosiers, the last year and a half has shined a light on the severe importance of having everyone connected. This program is a path to bring service to households and businesses that are in internet darkness or have speeds that are not meeting the demands on our students who are eLearning or our workforce teleworking.
The Indiana Connectivity Program aims to connect residents and businesses that lack access to broadband internet service with service providers and assist in the expense of extending broadband to those locations.
Owners of residential and business locations unserved or underserved (access to actual speeds less than 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload) can apply for consideration by entering their information into the Next Level Connections portal to initiate their interest in receiving broadband internet service.
Internet Service Providers will have the opportunity to review these locations and submit bids to the state on the cost of providing service to these locations. OCRA will evaluate these bids and make awards to the providers whose bid presents the lowest cost per Mbps to the state for extension of the service.
Locations that currently lack broadband service or have actual broadband speeds of less than 25/3Mbps are eligible. The location can be residential or business.
The portfolio of Next Level Connections Broadband Programs has been allocated $270 million in total. This would include the Indiana Connectivity Program.
Limits per line extension are set by Indiana Code. These limits are:
*A per-line extension amount that cannot exceed $25,000.
*A per passing amount that cannot exceed $4,800.
The Indiana Connectivity Program and Next Level Connections online portal is accepting applications.
The bidding and challenge processes must take place before awards can be made. Once made, projects must be completed within six to nine months of the contract date.
- At least every three months, OCRA will publish to registered providers the addresses requesting service
- Service providers will have 10 days to notify OCRA of service availability at those locations
- Service Providers have 60 days to submit bids on locations they would like to extend service to
- OCRA will evaluate all bids within 30 days and select the provider whose bid presents the lowest cost per Mbps to the state.
How to submit your information:
Indiana residents and business owners can submit their address and information through the online portal, by phone at 833-639-8522 or by mail to the following address:
- Next Level Connections Portal
- One page overview
- Indiana Connectivity Program Challenge Webinar
- Connectivity - Business Video
- Connectivity - Health Clinic 1G Video
- Connectivity - Household Video
- Connectivity - School 1G Video
- Indiana Connectivity Program Scope of Work Template
- Indiana Connectivity Program Budget Table Template
- Indiana Connectivity Program Speed Test Template
- Indiana Connectivity Program Scoring Criteria
Round 1 Awards:
The Indiana Connectivity Program announced the first round of awards on April 28, 2022. The first round of the program awarded $654,678 to expand broadband to 253 addresses across 40 counties. Of these addresses, 246 are homes and seven are businesses. Internet providers carrying out the projects matched over $1.5 million for a total investment of $2.2 million.
To find the number of addresses funded in each county, click here.
To find a map of the funded locations, click here.
Round 2 Awards:
The Indiana Connectivity Program announced the second round of awards on July 14, 2022. The second round of the program awarded $259,697 to expand broadband to 58 addresses across 19 counties. Of these addresses, 56 are homes and two are businesses. Internet providers carrying out the projects matched over $265,011 for a total investment of $524,708.
To find the number of addresses funded in each county, click here.
Round 3 Awards:
The Indiana Connectivity Program announced the third round of awards on Oct. 6, 2022. The third round of the program awarded $760,727 to expand broadband to 197 addresses across 28 counties. Of these addresses, 188 are homes and nine are businesses. Internet providers carrying out the projects matched over $1,880,770 for a total investment of $2,641,497.
To find the number of addresses funded by each provider and the number of addresses funded in each county, click here.
Round 4 Awards:
The Indiana Connectivity Program announced the fourth round of awards on Jan. 11, 2023. The fourth round of the program awarded $925,574 to expand broadband to 254 addresses across 30 counties. Of these addresses, 235 are homes and 19 are businesses. Internet providers carrying out the projects matched over $2.4 million for a total investment of over $3.3 million
To find the number of addresses funded by each provider, click here. To find the number of addresses funded in each county, click here.
For the map of the funded locations for ICP Round 4, click here.