Comcast has signed contracts with Indiana’s Office of Community & Rural Affairs (OCRA) to bring gigabit-capable broadband service to unserved parts of Indiana. The initial finalized agreements will enable Comcast to build to rural, unserved portions of Allen, Bartholomew, Carroll, Cass, Delaware, Fayette, Hendricks, Jennings, Johnson, Hamilton, Huntington, La Porte, Madison, Marshall, Montgomery, Morgan, Porter, Starke and Wayne counties.
Under Indiana’s Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program, Comcast is partnering with the state and local governments to build and deliver fast, reliable broadband service to more than 10,000 homes and businesses across 19 counties. The projects will deploy 1,200 miles of fiber to unserved rural portions of Indiana. Under this latest phase of Next Level Connections grants, Comcast is investing $36 million in conjunction with the state’s $13.6 million to expand its network.
This partnership builds upon Comcast’s ongoing commitment to bridging Indiana’s rural digital divide. Over the past three years, Comcast expanded and enhanced its network and product offering to reach more residents and businesses across the state, connecting communities like Darlington, Tell City, and Thorntown with gigabit-capable speeds. In that time, Comcast has also invested more than $500 million to strengthen and expand its Indiana network.
“Next Level Connections is used as a model by other states to deliver the best tech infrastructure to rural areas,” said Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, who also serves as Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “The investments made by Comcast and other partners will not only benefit residents and businesses but also contribute to Indiana’s rural economic engine.”
“Ensuring all Hoosiers have access to reliable, high-speed internet has been a top priority for Comcast,” said Joni Hart, vice president of Government Affairs for Comcast in Indiana. “As the world we live in becomes increasingly digital, we remain focused on not only bringing our broadband network to more Indiana homes and business, but also meeting the ever-increasing appetite for education, business, telemedicine, entertainment and more.”
Now that these contracts with the State of Indiana are signed, Comcast will immediately start work on the multiple pre-construction priorities of these expansion projects. The company anticipates having its gigabit-capable, fiber-to-the-home network expansion completed within two years.
As each build is complete, residential customers will be able to take advantage of Xfinity’s full suite of internet products, including the company’s Internet Essentials program that provides low-cost, high-speed broadband service to income-constrained households. Since its inception in 2011, the program has connected more than 440,000 students, parents, veterans and seniors in Indiana. Comcast also participates in the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides qualifying households a $30 monthly credit toward internet and mobile services.