Indiana Broadband Office administers federally funded BEAD program
By IBO Staff
The Indiana Broadband Office (IBO) was created to assist residents in need of affordable and reliable broadband connectivity. We are currently administering the Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program. BEAD is a federally funded program with the goal of connecting unserved and underserved locations in the United States to high-speed, reliable and affordable broadband.
Indiana received $868 million from the BEAD program and will use these funds for significant broadband infrastructure deployment.
BEAD prioritizes deploying fiber internet access to underserved and unserved locations. As farmers try to achieve higher yields, better data collection, lower environmental impact and maximum profits, connection to the internet is becoming increasingly necessary.
These technologies, that improve precision in the fields, rely on broadband to connect our Hoosier farmers. The internet service providers will connect rural and previously hard to reach areas to provide robust service through BEAD funds.
Right now, our office is writing the Initial Proposal (IP) for BEAD to submit to the federal government. This proposal includes how Indiana will identify broadband serviceable locations and how these funds will be deployed across the state through subgrants to internet service providers. We are currently in our public comment period for Volume I of the Initial Proposal. Volume I is available for public review and comment until Nov. 6, and we encourage you to email firstname.lastname@example.org with any input.
Additionally, the IBO will administer the Digital Equity Grant Program. The Digital Equity program focuses on providing community organizations resources for digital literacy programs. The projects aim to assist rural inhabitants, low-income households, aging populations, veterans, minority groups, and people with language barriers with broadband.
These programs will help communities understand how to use broadband for not only professional uses but telehealth, remote working and schooling and social connections.
We would love to hear from farmers and agricultural professionals about how broadband programs affect their communities. We are traveling around Indiana for six listening sessions in November to review the IP with the public, and receive comments, feedback, and questions from participants.
We are hosting listening sessions in Dubois, Ripley, Randolph, Jasper, Montgomery, and Allen County. Even if you do not live in one of these counties, we encourage you to come to any date and time that work best for you.
For those with questions or comments, contact us at IndianaBroadband@iot.IN.gov
For additional information, visit our website.
The Listening Session schedule can be found here.