Language Translation
  Close Menu

Grant Overview

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.

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 100/20 in areas where there is currently less than 100 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-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.

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.

Please note that for any information marked confidential on an application, OCRA will not share details such as trade secrets, customer pricing, etc., however, per Indiana State Code, details regarding address selection, offered speeds and the grant requests must be shared for the competitive application phase.

IC-4-4-38.5. Section 9

"The procedures established under this section must prohibit a state agency, in awarding any grant from the fund, from discriminating between different types of technology used to provide eligible broadband service in connection with proposed eligible broadband projects.

(g) The procedures established under this section must, subject to section 14 of this chapter, require the office to publish on the office's Internet website all grant applications, including the specific addresses for which state funds would be used to provide eligible broadband service, received by the office under this chapter."

NLC Competitive Application Phase

Click here.

Please use this document to evaluate applications submitted for NLC Round 4 and determine if you would like to submit a competitive application to one of the ones listed. Please note that Competitive Applications must include all of and only the addresses included under the original application, must offer the same or better proposed broadband speeds, and offers a more competitive funding request for the same proposed broadband connectivity. If one of your original applications has a competitive application submitted against it, you will be offered a chance to adjust your original application to match the competitive application’s terms prior to the awards selection process. Competitive Applications are due to OCRA by April 15, 2024.

Round 4 Timeline

OCRA Sends Address Data and Template to County GovernmentsJuly 12, 2023
Address Lists from County Governments and Internet Providers Due Oct. 6, 2023
Challenge Period BeginsNov. 1, 2023
Submission Deadline for ChallengesNov. 25, 2023
Expected Date for Challenge DecisionsJan. 3, 2024
Application Window BeginsJan. 10, 2024
Submission Deadline for Full ApplicationsFeb. 9, 2024
Submission Deadline for Competitive ApplicationsApril 15, 2024
Expected Date for SelectionsJune 5, 2024



Questions about this program and application? Email .

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.