Indiana is investing $350 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 100/20 in areas where there is currently less than 100 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-site 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 100 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.
Round 4 Timeline
|OCRA Sends Address Data and Template to County Governments||July 12, 2023|
|Address Lists from County Governments and Internet Providers Due||Oct. 6, 2023|
|Challenge Period Begins||Nov. 1, 2023|
|Submission Deadline for Challenges||Nov. 25, 2023|
|Expected Date for Challenge Decisions||Jan. 3, 2024|
|Application Window Begins||Jan. 10, 2024|
|Submission Deadline for Full Applications||Feb. 9, 2024|
|Submission Deadline for Competitive Applications||April 3, 2024|
|Expected Date for Selections||June 5, 2024|
ALL DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE
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.