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Duke Energy Foundation Grants Seek to Expand Broadband Internet Access in Indiana's Underserved Areas

Grants include $100,000 for Purdue Center for Regional Development; $13,000 for Indiana Farm Bureau

Published 06-14-21

Submitted by Duke Energy

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Duke Energy

PLAINFIELD, Ind., June 14, 2021 /CSRwire/ - Two Duke Energy Foundation grants totaling more than $113,000 will help improve broadband internet access in underserved areas in 15 Indiana counties.

The foundation has awarded a grant of $100,000 to the Purdue Center for Regional Development to work with counties to develop “digital inclusion plans” to assess broadband access and needs. The targeted counties will receive $5,000 each to develop the plans.

“Whether it was remote work, distance learning, or telehealth, the pandemic reinforced the value of broadband access and highlighted a digital divide between those who have access to the internet and those who do not,” said Stan Pinegar, Duke Energy Indiana state president. “As I visit community leaders and customers in our service area, the urgent need for improved connectivity inevitably comes up. We want to make sure that Indiana can compete in today’s rapidly digitizing economy and society. Internet access has become an essential part of everyday life.

Counties selected will be in Duke Energy’s 69-county Indiana service area and will need to complete an application to the Purdue Center for Regional Development to be considered for participation. Visit https://pcrd.purdue.edu/act to apply.

“Before we can tackle a challenge, we need a road map and resources that show us where needs are and how we can fill the gaps,” said Dr. Roberto Gallardo, director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development. “With the support of the Duke Energy Foundation grant, we can provide the technical assistance that will help local communities develop or implement their plans to address digital exclusion today.”

The Duke Energy Foundation is also supporting the recently announced Indiana Rural Broadband Strategic Partnership aimed at strengthening broadband infrastructure throughout Indiana. The Indiana Farm Bureau and five other organizations are leading the effort that measures how widely broadband is used by citizens.

The initiative encourages residents to participate in the free, anonymous broadband speed test that can be done on any device connected to the internet. No personal information is collected. The information gathered will help direct investments in critical infrastructure that will expand the availability of high-quality internet access across the state. The Duke Energy Foundation grant of approximately $13,000 will help pay for the software involved.

Duke Energy Indiana and Duke Energy Foundation

Duke Energy Indiana, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, provides about 6,600 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 840,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it Indiana’s largest electric supplier.

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. In Indiana, the Foundation contributes more than $2 million annually in charitable gifts funded by Duke Energy shareholder dollars.

Media contact: Angeline Protogere
Office: 317.838.1338
Media line: 800.559.3853

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Duke Energy

Duke Energy

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2019 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. 

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