Heaton, Borders: State grants help expand internet access to more Vigo County residents, businesses

Posted by: Wade Coggeshall  | Friday, September 11, 2020

STATEHOUSE (Sept. 11, 2020) Three Vigo County projects expanding fast and reliable internet to unserved homes and businesses can now move forward, thanks to more than $737,000 in state broadband grants, according to State Reps. Bob Heaton (R-Terre Haute) and Bruce Borders (R-Jasonville).

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.

"Internet access has grown far beyond a luxury, and has become a necessity for most Hoosiers," Heaton said. "So many of our day-to-day activities are now conducted online. Expanding the broadband infrastructure in Vigo County will further connect local Hoosiers to resources and services."

"Indiana continues investing in broadband for our rural communities," Borders said. "Everyone needs dependable access to this resource for educational, economic and communication purposes."

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.

According to Heaton and Borders, these are the projects impacting Vigo County:

Joink: This project will serve three households around West Concannon Avenue in Vigo County. The requested grant amount is $135,155, with a local match of $33,789, for a total project cost of $168,944.

Joink: This project will serve 36 unserved households around French Lake, on the south side of Vigo County. The requested grant amount is $338,642, with a local match of $84,660, for a total project cost of $423,302.

Joink: This project will serve 18 unserved households and businesses in Blackhawk, which is on the south side of Vigo County. The requested grant amount is $263,402, with a local match of $65,851, for a total project cost of $329,253.

For more information, visit in.gov/ocra/3018.htm.

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State Rep. Bob Heaton (R-Terre Haute) represents House District 46,
which includes portions of Clay, Monroe, Owen and Vigo counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Bruce Borders (R-Jasonville) represents House District 45, which includes
all of Sullivan County and portions of Vigo, Greene, Knox and Daviess counties.
Click
here to download a high-resolution photo.