An effort by the state to build the state’s first high-speed fiber network was pushed back by the Federal Communications Commission after several years of public pressure, including from the governor and the president.
The FCC last week ordered Indiana to begin construction of a fiber network by early 2020.
The move was meant to give consumers a better choice in where and how they get their internet service, but it also comes amid a national push to create a nationwide network of high-capacity networks.
The state is seeking to build its own network, which will be about 15 times as fast as the one that is being built by Texas, which is being criticized for its slow broadband rollout.
The Indiana project has been in the works for years and was the subject of a $300 million federal stimulus grant in 2016.
The $300-million grant for the Indiana project was intended to provide infrastructure and equipment to create what the state calls a national broadband network.
But after years of delays, the FCC this month ordered the state back to the drawing board.
The commission’s ruling came after the state was caught short of federal stimulus money to begin its broadband rollout in 2014.
The $300 billion grant was awarded to the state of Indiana in April 2016.
But the state failed to reach a deal with the Federal Trade Commission to secure the funding, which the commission considered a breach of the agency’s antitrust rules.
The federal commission has been investigating whether the state had been unfairly denied funding.
The commission said Indiana was violating federal antitrust law by not doing enough to make sure it was building its network for future use.
“We have been very concerned that the state has been reluctant to engage with us in this important process,” said FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who issued the commission’s decision.
“I’m disappointed that the commission did not act earlier.”
The state says it will appeal the decision.
But it could be months before the FCC’s decision is final.
Indiana has spent more than $8 billion since 2012 to build a high-bandwidth network of fiber optic cables that will carry the state and its businesses online.
The state is currently constructing a 1,400-mile (1,200 kilometers) fiber optic cable that will connect the state capital, Indianapolis, to its largest city, Bloomington.
The network is supposed to reach speeds of 1 gigabit per second, the maximum speed available in the United States.
But in a 2014 study, the Federal Communication Commission said the state could only get to about half of that speed by relying on outdated copper wires and old computer equipment.
The new project will cost about $1.3 billion and be completed by 2020.
The agency also ordered the Indiana to get rid of outdated copper wiring and to install new equipment.