Lehe, Negele: State grants help expand internet access to more Tippecanoe County residents, businesses

Posted by: Josh DeFonce  | Thursday, September 10, 2020 9:35 am

STATEHOUSE (Sept. 10, 2020) — Several Tippecanoe County projects expanding fast and reliable internet to unserved homes and businesses can now move forward thanks to more than $5.7 million in state broadband grants, according to State Reps. Don Lehe (R-Brookston) and Sharon Negele (R-Attica).

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.

"Expanding the broadband infrastructure for local residents will greatly help as we all continue to adapt to changes caused by the pandemic," Lehe said. "With many kids expected to learn from home and adults working from home, it is crucial they have the resources they need."

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.

"This year showed it is extremely important for Hoosiers to have quality internet and high-speed services," Negele said. "This funding provides local homes and businesses with more reliable internet connection to help make sure they can work and continue their education without interruptions."

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 Lehe and Negele, these are the projects impacting Tippecanoe County, with some projects reaching into nearby Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery and White counties:

Tipmont Rural Electric Membership Corporation: This project will serve 30 unserved households and three farms/businesses in Tippecanoe County. The requested grant amount is $546,303, with a local match of $546,303, for a total project cost of more than $1.09 million.

Tipmont Rural Electric Membership Corporation: This project will serve 150 unserved households, 12 farms/businesses and one anchor institution in Clinton and Tippecanoe Counties. The requested grant amount is $814,985, with a local match of $814,985, for a total project cost of more than $1.62 million.

Tipmont Rural Electric Membership Corporation: This project will serve 298 unserved households, 19 farms/businesses and one anchor institution in Fountain and Tippecanoe counties. The requested grant amount is more than $1.29 million, with a local match of more than $1.29 million, for a total project cost of more than $2.59 million.

Tipmont Rural Electric Membership Corporation: This project will serve 203 unserved households, 57 farms/businesses and one anchor institution in Fountain and Tippecanoe counties. The requested grant amount is more than $1.34 million, with a local match of more than $1.34 million, for a total project cost of more than $2.68 million.

Tipmont Rural Electric Membership Corporation: This project will serve 39 unserved households, four farms/businesses and three anchor institutions in Tippecanoe, Montgomery, and Clinton counties. The requested grant amount is $981,803, with a local match of $981,803 for a total project cost of more than $1.96 million.

Tipmont Rural Electric Membership Corporation: This project will serve nine unserved households, six farms/businesses and five anchor institutions in Tippecanoe and White counties. The requested grant amount is $737,613, with a local match of $737,613, for a total project cost of more than $1.47 million.

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

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State Rep. Don Lehe (R-Brookston) represents House District 25, which
includes portions of Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Tippecanoe and White counties.
Click 
here to download a high-resolution photo. 


State Rep. Sharon Negele (R-Attica) represents House District 13,
which includes all of Benton County, and portions of Fountain, Jasper,
Montgomery, Newton, Tippecanoe, Warren and White counties. 
Click 
here to download a high-resolution photo.