Hostettler, McNamara: $3.3M state grant helps expand internet access to more Posey County residents, businesses

Posted by: Jordan Wallace  | Friday, September 11, 2020

STATEHOUSE (Sept. 11, 2020) — A project expanding fast and reliable internet to unserved homes and businesses in Posey County can now move forward thanks to a $3.3 million state broadband grant, according to State Reps. Matt Hostettler (R-Fort Branch) and Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville).

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.

"This will help Posey County offer a strong connectivity network to meet the growing needs of our community," Hostettler said.

McNamara said the proposed project by Mainstream Fiber Networks will serve approximately 678 unserved households, 32 unserved businesses and eight anchor institutions, in primarily rural portions of Posey County. The requested grant amount is more than $3.31 million with a local match of $2.94 million, for a total project cost of more than $6.25 million.

"The funding for the Mainstream Fiber Networks project comes at a pivotal time," McNamara said. "As more students and businesses remote work, we have to have stable, high-speed internet. These grants allow Posey County to meet the current needs of Hoosiers while encouraging growth for the future."

In addition to the $51 million awarded, Hostettler said 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. Matt Hostettler (R-Fort Branch) represents House District 64,
which includes Gibson County
and portions of Knox, Pike, Vanderburgh and Posey counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) represents House District 76, 
which includes portions of Posey and Vanderburgh counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.