FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Allen County is looking for internet providers to partner in a $1 billion broadband infrastructure program.

The Allen County commissioners said Friday they are seeking a partnership between broadband provider(s) and the county to apply to the Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure program.

Here’s how it works:

The MM program includes $1B for high – speed Internet access funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand middle mile infrastructure. The program will help reduce the cost of connecting unserved and underserved areas. Middle mile infrastructure broadly refers to the midsection of Internet infrastructure that carries large amounts of data at high speeds over long distances. This program will also increase the resilience of Internet infrastructure.

Allen County has recognized that the MM application is an in depth and substantial grant application that requires a partnership with a broadband technology company, electric utility, utility cooperative, public utility district, telecommunications company, and/or telecommunications cooperative to pursue this grant. Therefore, the Allen County Commissioners welcome eligible entities to partner with Allen County to support its grant application efforts.

“Partnerships and continued investment by the state and federal government is critical to solving the lack of broadband coverage in our community. Our recent work in successfully securing the Next Level Connections broadband grant with a total investment of $7.7M would not have been possible with a partnership with broadband providers. For this reason, we’re seeking additional partnerships to pursue the Middle Mile program with the goal of bringing more broadband investment to our community,” said Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters.

Deadline for letters of interest is due July 1, 2022, on the Allen County Broadband Task Force website. Timeline is included in the letter.