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Indiana launches $100M push for broadband to rural areas

Indiana\'s governor is launching a $100 million program, known as the Next Level Broadband program, to bridge the digital divide by giving broadband internet services across the state. Photo courtesy Pixabay/ US Army / MGN

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana is launching a $100 million program to expand broadband internet services across rural parts of the state.

Gov. Eric Holcomb says the Next Level Broadband program will bridge the digital divide, giving more rural Hoosiers access to the internet for business or personal uses.

The governor says the "internet is just as essential to Indiana's prosperity today as highways were a century ago."

The $100 million program is among an additional $1 billion Holcomb announced in September would be pumped into infrastructure projects across Indiana. That money will be raised through fee increases on heavy-duty commercial vehicles that use the Indiana Toll Road.

Broadband providers can initially apply for up to $5 million to expand service to unserved areas if they provide at least a 20 percent match.

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