New plan announced to improve broadband in Indiana’s rural areas

State officials have a new plan aimed at improving broadband access in rural Indiana.

The effort was announced Wednesday by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. It's part of a broader document called the Strategic Plan for Rural Indiana.

The broadband component calls for state and local governments to partner with private business to minimize obstacles to extending service to rural areas.

Officials will also offer planning grants to local communities, which are intended to identify their needs.

Lastly, state officials are calling for a statewide broadband summit to be held. The goal is to educate local officials by hosting a daylong seminar with experts and other key players.

Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch said about 40 percent of the state's population lives across 76 rural counties.

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