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Indiana scores $868M from Biden Administration for broadband deployment

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(The Center Square) – Indiana scored a “big win” Monday, according to Gov. Eric Holcomb when the federal government announced it would award the state $868.1 million in grant funding to bolster broadband internet access statewide.

The grant was part of more than $42 billion awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration to all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories. Congress approved the funding when it passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in November 2021.

According to U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, the average award to each state was about $750 million.

“Just like the Rural Electrification Act a century ago and the Interstate Highway System that followed it, this is our generation’s opportunity for a transformational infrastructure investment,” Raimondo said Monday.

Internet access is widely available in Indiana, as the Commerce Department’s Internet For All website noted 92% of all Hoosier households use a device to connect to the World Wide Web and online applications. However, the data also showed that the percentage of Indiana’s population not using the internet totaled 14%.

Holcomb, in a series of tweets, said the funding will help the state continue its work to connect all Hoosiers.

“Since 2018, Next Level Connections has invested more than $575M from grants & matching funds to connect 72,000+ homes and 83 counties,” Holcomb posted. “The new federal funding will empower the program to expand broadband in the coming years and give more Hoosiers the power of connectivity.”

Indiana’s neighbors also received significant awards from the Biden Administration. Michigan was allocated a $1.56 billion grant, and

Kentucky’s grant totaled nearly $1.1 billion. Illinois also received more than $1 billion, while Ohio was awarded $793.7 million.

Each state received at least $100 million to help it provide internet access to the roughly 8.5 million homes and businesses that currently do not have connectivity.

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