The Next Level Broadband program has awarded $6.3 million for three infrastructure expansion projects to close out the program’s first round of funding. Officials say the total first round funding provides broadband infrastructure to more than 11,300 homes and commercial locations in 18 counties.
The $100 million Next Level Broadband program is the largest single state investment in broadband. For the first round of funding, service providers could apply for up to $5 million per project to expand service to area that did not have basic service if they provided at least a 20 percent match.
In addition to the $28.4 million awarded through Next Level Broadband, the nine telecommunications providers and utilities contributed $23.3 million in matching funds, resulting in $51.7 million total investment for broadband, according to officials.
“This funding gives us the ability to help residents obtain what has become a necessary part of a high quality of life,” said Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch. “We are thrilled to be able to extend the grant’s first round with these three projects, which will take these 10 counties out of internet darkness and on to the Next Level.”
Funding was awarded to the following three companies:
- Jackson County Rural Electric Membership Corp. serving Bartholomew, Brown, Jackson, Jennings, Lawrence, Monroe, Scott and Washington counties. This project will serve approximately 1,050 unserved households, 25 unserved businesses and eight anchor institutions in Bartholomew, Brown, Jackson, Jennings, Lawrence, Monroe, Scott and Washington counties. The requested grant amount is nearly $1.3 million with a local match of nearly $4 million for a total project cost of nearly $5.2 million.
- Mainstream Fiber Networks, LLC serving Benton County. This project will serve approximately 2,435 unserved households and 554 unserved businesses in Benton County. The requested grant amount is more than $3 million with a local match of nearly $3.2 million for a total project cost of more than $6.2 million.
- Mainstream Fiber Networks, LLC serving Floyd County. This project will serve approximately 2,084 unserved households and 389 unserved businesses in Floyd County. The requested grant amount is more than $2 million with a local match of more than $2.1 million for a total project cost of more than $4.1 million.