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Grant Overview

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.

Eligible Entities

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:

  1. Be a corporation organized under IC 8-1-13;
  2. Be a corporation organized under IC 23-17 that is an electric cooperative; or
  3. 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.

Eligible Projects

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 Activities

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.

Match Requirement

All grant requests require a minimum 20% match.

Project Evaluation

Eligible projects will be evaluated by the NLC review committee staffed by multiple State agencies.

Round 3 Timeline

Application Issue DateAugust  2021
Submission Deadline for Letters of IntentSept. 24, 2021
Submission Deadline for ChallengesNov. 3, 2021
Expected Date for Challenge DecisionsNov. 20, 2021
Submission Deadline for Full ApplicationsJan. 6, 2022
Submission Deadline for Competitive ApplicationsJan. 31, 2022
Expected Date for SelectionsMarch 2022

ALL DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE 

Application Documents

Resources

Questions

Questions about this program and application? Email NLC@ocra.in.gov .

Disclaimer:  No one grant/project application is guaranteed to receive funding.  Factors including, but not limited to, eligibility or competitiveness, existing service, provider interest or funding resources may restrict awarding grant funds for a proposed project.