State grant helps expand internet access to more residents, businesses in Freedom

Posted by: Wade Coggeshall  | Friday, September 4, 2020

STATEHOUSE (Sept. 4, 2020) – An Owen County project expanding fast and reliable internet to unserved locations in Freedom can now move forward thanks to an $866,000 state broadband grant, according to State Rep. Bob Heaton (R-Terre Haute).

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 Freedom will further connect local Hoosiers to resources and services."

 Heaton said a proposed project by the South Central Indiana Rural Electric Membership Corp. will serve 217 unserved locations in Freedom. The requested grant amount is $866,580 with a local match of $446,420, for a total project cost of more than $1.31 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.

For more information, visit


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