Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) recently announced a new program aiming to help more Hoosiers get access to reliable and quality broadband. The Indiana Connectivity Program will assist qualifying residents and businesses that lack access to broadband internet service with service providers and assist in the expense of extending broadband to those locations. This is an excellent opportunity for underserved residents and businesses in our region to get reliable broadband access.
The program applies to residential and business locations that are unserved or underserved. Underserved locations are defined as having access to actual speeds less than 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload. Applications for consideration can be submitted by entering information into the Next Level Connections portal to indicate 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 to the state for extension of the service.
Inputting location information into the Next Level Connections portal does not guarantee extension of service.
Next Level Connections Broadband Programs have been allocated $270 million in total. The Indiana Connectivity Program is included as part of this larger program. Limits per line extension are set by Indiana Code including a per line extension amount that cannot exceed $25,000 and a per passing amount that cannot exceed $4,800.
The Indiana Connectivity Program and Next Level Connections online portal will open on Monday Sept. 27, 2021. The bidding and challenge processes must take place before awards can be made. Once made, projects must be completed within 9 months of the contract date.
Region 3A is proud to be a resource for our area residents and businesses who require reliable internet access. If you need assistance with application or have questions about this program please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Program Information
For more information or questions on the Indiana Connectivity Program, please visit in.gov/ocra/broadband/ or call 833-639-8522.