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EDA invests $1.7M for central Indiana broadband

(Pixabay Photo/Michael Jarmoluk)

CENTRAL INDIANA (Inside INdiana Business) – The U.S. Economic Development Administration is awarding a $1.7 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to Northwest Central Indiana Community Partnerships Inc. in West Lafayette. The funding will be used to expand broadband access in central Indiana in support of the region’s manufacturing, agricultural and technology industries.

The EDA’s investment will be matched with $426,000 in local funds and is expected to create 75 jobs, retain 150 jobs and generate $10 million in private investment.

“President Biden is committed to leveraging the full power of the federal government to ensure our nation not only recovers from this pandemic but that all communities have the tools they need to succeed in our increasingly digital economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will serve as a down-payment for the further broadband investments coming from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law by providing cost-effective and reliable broadband service in Central Indiana that will build resiliency in the region’s manufacturing, agricultural and technology sectors for decades to come.”

The department says the project will provide necessary technology for the region’s industries to remain competitive. The investment is also expected to make the rural, seven-county region more resilient to future economic disruptions.

“The Economic Development Administration supports community-led strategies to accelerate economic recovery from the pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Castillo. “This EDA investment will help to ensure a bright future for this rural Indiana region by providing the broadband services local industries need to grow, thrive and create jobs.”

The project is funded through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.