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Indiana’s new program aims to connect more Hoosiers to broadband


INDIANAPOLIS – A new state program is working to bring broadband service to more Hoosiers.

As part of Indiana’s connectivity program, state officials want to find more homes and businesses without high-speed internet access and connect them to broadband providers.

“We describe the need as urgent and immediate,” said Rob Ford, communications director for Tipmont and Wintek, a supplier that serves three counties in the Lafayette area.

That need has only grown during the pandemic, Ford said. And for some Hoosiers in remote areas, access can be particularly difficult and expensive.

“Sometimes it takes $ 40,000 or $ 50,000 of construction to get to that one resident,” said George Plisinski, director of telecommunications operations for NineStar Connect, a broadband provider in east-central Indiana. . “It’s just not economically viable for either party at this point.”

It’s also difficult to identify all the Hoosiers who need broadband access in the first place, Plisinski said.

Indiana’s New Connectivity Program seeks to find more of these homes and businesses and help with construction costs.

“Now the Hoosiers have the opportunity to tell us they’re not connected,” Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch said.

The new program will allow Hoosiers to directly notify the state that their home or business does not have high-speed internet access, Lt. Gov. Crouch said. If they qualify, the state will connect that resident or business to a broadband service provider and help fund the necessary work.

“Now, because of COVID, the Hoosiers are determining they want to work from home and continue to work from home,” Crouch said. “Companies say if we want to keep employees, we have to be flexible and allow them to do so if they want to.”

Hoosiers can submit their information for the program on the Next Level Communications portal starting Monday, according to state officials.

Hoosiers can also call the Indiana Broadband Connect Center starting Monday at 833-639-8522.


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