Bartels, Lindauer: State grants help expand internet access to more Dubois County residents, businesses

Posted by: Jordan Wallace  | Friday, September 4, 2020

STATEHOUSE (Sept. 4, 2020) — Projects expanding fast and reliable internet to unserved homes and businesses in Dubois County can now move forward thanks to more than $5.6 million in state broadband grants, according to State Reps. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) and Shane Lindauer (R-Jasper).

Gov. Eric Holcomb, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Office of Community and Rural Affairs recently announced a total of $51 million awarded for 50 broadband expansion projects around the state. The funding is part of the second round of the Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program, which will provide broadband infrastructure to more than 10,590 homes and commercial locations across 32 counties.

"Securing these grant funds is extremely important and vital to our communities," said Bartels. "This investment allows a number of households and businesses in our area to stay connected and continue to be productive, whether using the internet for school or work."

"Quality internet helps the local economy grow," Lindauer said. "We can attract new employers, help local businesses expand, give our schools more tools to succeed and ensure Hoosiers in Dubios County are connected with all the opportunities afforded by reliable internet."  

According to Lindauer, these are the projects impacting Dubois County, with a project reaching into nearby Orange County:

Orange County Rural Electric Membership Corporation: This project will connect seven households, six businesses and two anchor institutions in portions of Orange and Dubois Counties. The requested grant amount is $680,993, with a local match of $417,382, for a total project cost of more than $1.09 million.

Perry-Spencer Rural Telephone Cooperative, Inc.: This project will serve 679 unserved locations in Dubois County. The requested grant amount is $5 million, with a local match of more than $2.81 million, for a total project cost of more than $7.81 million.

In addition to the $51 million awarded, 16 telecommunications providers and utility cooperatives contributed more than $53 million in matching funds, resulting in more than $104 million total investment for broadband.

The Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program provides funding of up to $5 million per project to expand broadband service to unserved areas. In order to be eligible for funding, applicants must be able to contribute at least a 20% match.

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State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) represents House District 74,
which includes portions of Spencer, Dubois, Perry, Crawford and Orange counties.
here to download a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Shane Lindauer (R- Jasper) represents House District 63,
which includes portions of Daviess, Dubois, Pike and Martin counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.