Joink receives nearly $2 million at Next Level Connections check presentation for broadband expansion in West Central Indiana
Several broadband providers, including Terre Haute-based provider, Joink, gathered in Martinsville, Indiana where they celebrated their successes and received their Next Level Connection Broadband Grant project checks from Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch. Seven Joink projects were awarded to expand and provide reliable and affordable broadband connectivity across West Central Indiana.
“I want to express my sincere gratitude to the State of Indiana for making broadband such an important priority,” states Josh Zuerner, CEO of Joink. “The state has created an environment where businesses can succeed. It’s really amazing to be in a position in which we can leverage the network assets that we built for anchor tenants and now expand in ways that would not have been possible without this funding.”
The Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program is designed to further broadband access that is both reliable and affordable across the State of Indiana to help close the digital divide for Hoosiers. This past September, Governor Holcomb announced $51 million for 50 broadband infrastructure projects across the state in the second round of the Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program.
“In a time where Hoosiers are having to adjust their lifestyles due to COVID-19, it’s imperative that we connect as many Hoosiers as possible,” said Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch. “Governor Holcomb’s Next Level Connections initiative is a significant step toward bridging the digital divide and bringing greater opportunities for all Hoosiers.”
As a local broadband provider that has focused its fiber deployment on markets in West Central Indiana, Joink has developed deep relationships and partnerships with the communities and customers they serve. As a local business employing over 80 talented and local individuals, Joink is capable of continuing to expand the network made possible by its existing anchor tenants and customers as they continue to expand connectivity across West Central Indiana.
“Through Next Level Connections, we will service 200 rural homes. It is so exciting to be a Hoosier and to do business in Indiana. We’re so excited to make this investment in West Central Indiana,” states Zuerner.
About Next Level Connections
Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program is part of Governor Holcomb’s $1 billion Next Level Connections infrastructure program, which accelerates the completion of major highway projects, expands access to rural broadband services, creates more nonstop flights and pursues the expansion of rail projects in northwest Indiana.
The Broadband Grant Program allows broadband service providers and utility cooperatives to apply for up to $5 million to expand service to unserved areas if they provide at least a 20 percent match. Unserved areas are those without at least one telecommunication provider offering at least 10 mbps download and 1 mbps upload. Proposed projects must provide a minimum level of service at actual speeds of 25 mbps download and 3 mbps upload.