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Program Requirements

  • What are eligible project costs?

    Eligible project costs include terrestrial capital expenses directly related to a qualified broadband project, including design, construction, engineering, make readies, permitting expenses and validation of service. Maintenance or operating expenses related to the project do not qualify as an eligible expense.

  • Can the grant fund middle-mile only projects?

    The purpose of the grant is to deploy last-mile broadband infrastructure to residential and business locations in unserved areas within Indiana. Grant dollars can only be used for middle-mile related costs if it is necessary in order to provide last-mile service.

  • What areas are eligible for grant funding?

    Areas that do not currently have fixed service of at least actual 25 Mbps download speed and 3 Mbps upload speed.

  • What is the maximum grant amount?

    The maximum grant amount per project is $5 million.

  • Will certain types of technology receive preference?

    The Office of Community and Rural Affairs is technology agnostic and will not select an application based solely on the proposed technology solution.

  • Will certain speed levels receive preference?

    Because the funds allocated to this program are part of Indiana’s appropriation of the US Department of Treasury’s Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, projects that provide technology solutions of 100 Mbps/100 Mbps or greater will receive priority of funding. All proposed projects must be at least 50/5 to be considered eligible.

Project Area

Letter of Intent

Challenge

Application

Competitive Application

Definitions

  • What is a passing?

    Passing is an address that service is/would be available at the location. OCRA has identified four types of passings: household, business, anchor institution and farm/agribusinesses. Business is defined as all business types, home-based businesses, and work-at-home/telecommuter use of broadband. Anchor institution is defined as community facilities including public safety buildings like fire and police buildings; hospitals, educational buildings, community centers, libraries; and city, county, state and town buildings.

  • What is a terrestrial connection?

    Terrestrial connection is defined as a fixed connection, and not service provided by mobile or satellite carriers. Applications may propose to complete the project with any technology capable of supporting the service levels described in Section I.C.i. of the Round III Application.

  • What is a “unique project area” as stated in Section E. Limitation on Submissions?

    Unique project area means the proposed project area is a different set of census blocks for each submission. An applicant cannot submit the same project area multiple times.

  • What does it mean for the service to be “available?”

    Determination of service availability will be based on the definition used by the FCC. Service is defined as being available if the provider does, or could, within a service interval that is typical for that type of connection—that is, without an extraordinary commitment of resources—provide two-way data transmission at the speeds prescribed.

    A screenshot from a provider’s website demonstrating the lack of service availability at a specific address is an example of evidence that can be provided to prove that service is not available at that location; however, final determinations will be based on all the evidence submitted in the application and during the public comment period.

  • What does it mean that service could be “deployed in ten days”?

    Determination of ten day service deployment will be based on the definition recently passed in Indiana Legislation. Service is defined as being available if the provider does, or could, within ten days, without an extraordinary commitment of resources or construction charges or fees exceeding an ordinary service activation fee, provide 25/3 broadband Internet at the location.

  • What is the definition of “statistically significant survey data”?

    OCRA follows procedures that surveys must be statistically significant at the 95% confidence level and confidence interval of five. Applicant may utilize the Sample Size Calculator that OCRA recommends when entities are unsure of what their sample size should be for a proposed project area. In order to overturn a validly challenged service address, there must be associated survey data from that address.

  • Can you clarify the definition of last mile and middle-mile?

    The last mile refers to network infrastructure that carries signals from the network to and from the home or business. Depending on network design and density of the area served, the actual distance of the last mile can be relatively short or may be considerably longer than a mile.

    Middle-mile refers to the portion of the telecommunications network that connects a network operator’s core network to the local network (last mile) plant. Middle-mile facilities provide fast, large capacity connections and can range from a few miles to a few hundred miles.

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