Indiana Capital Chronicle: “Indiana will receive $187 million to expand its broadband capacity under the American Rescue Plan, connecting more than 50,000 Hoosiers to high-speed broadband internet”
To date, André Carson and Frank Mrvan have delivered more than $530 million in broadband investments across Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today celebrated the brighter future the American Rescue Plan is STILL creating for Hoosiers. This time, more than $187 million will be used to expand broadband access for businesses and families in rural communities across Indiana. This investment will connect more than 50,000 Hoosiers to the internet and is in addition to the $350 million broadband investments already provided by the American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
In total, Democrats like André Carson and Frank Mrvan delivered more than $530 million worth of broadband investments to the Hoosier State. Families and businesses – especially in rural communities – will have a brighter future because Democrats got it done.
In contrast, the Indiana Republican Party – including U.S. Senator Todd Young – said “NO” to this brighter future. In fact, Indiana GOP Chairman Kyle Hupfer even called this project “socialism” – claiming the Republicans’ opposition was a “great campaign to run on”. The Indiana GOP’s opposition to the kitchen-table issues – like broadband – is another reminder they have no plan for Indiana’s future – just abiding by an extremist agenda.
Here’s a look at how the American Rescue Plan continues to deliver for Hoosiers across the state:
Indiana Capital Chronicle: “Indiana will receive $187 million to expand its broadband capacity under the American Rescue Plan, connecting more than 50,000 Hoosiers to high-speed broadband internet, as announced by the U.S. Treasury Department Tuesday.
The funding comes from the federal Capital Projects Fund, with Indiana’s allocation composing more than a quarter of the total $408 million funding for five states. The other states are Nebraska, Connecticut, Arkansas and North Dakota.
Congressional Rep. Frank Mrvan, D-1st, said the COVID-19 pandemic exposed disparities in access for healthcare, mental healthcare and education for Hoosier families.
“Who doesn’t remember pictures and news stories about children having to go to McDonald’s or sit on school buses in order to have access to e-learning? To the fundamental right of education?” Mrvan said. “This investment eliminates that and gives us the opportunity to make sure we stay connected.” […]
In March 2021, President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill known as the American Rescue Plan. Indiana’s broadband funding comes from the $10 billion Capital Projects fund earmarked for broadband expansion in that plan, part of a broader $25 billion broadband effort.
Gene Sperling, chosen by Biden to oversee the stimulus plan, said Tuesday’s announcement was just the first allocation from the fund.
“I think it has become self-evident that the pandemic was a national teaching moment – that quality, affordable high speed broadband is a necessity. It is an economic and educational necessity, not a luxury,” Sperling said.
The White House estimated that over 90,000 homes and businesses nationwide would benefit from the total funding, with over half of those impacted living in Indiana. Of the communities without broadband in Indiana, the funding should close the gap for 7.4% of those Hoosiers.
Indiana’s plan, approved by the Treasury Department, outlined the state’s plans to deliver reliable service that “meets or exceeds symmetrical download and upload speeds of 100 megabits per second,” according to a White House release.
“(Those speeds) are needed for a household with multiple users to simultaneously access the Internet to telework and access education and health monitoring,” the release said.
Plans must prioritize connecting families and businesses with poor or inadequate service, especially in rural areas. In particular, Indiana’s program prioritizes school buildings, rural health clinics and households with students.
The funding comes with a caveat that Indiana must participate in the Affordable Connectivity Fund, which provides a discount on Internet services for qualifying households. […]
“ARP is helping out so many Hoosiers and Americans; it’s helping to put COVID-19 behind us and invest in our communities,” U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, D-7th, said. “ARP was the first step to building a better nation for a more successful future generation.”