ST. PAUL, Minn. – Two southeastern Minnesota projects are sharing in over $20 million going to broadband initiatives around the state.
“The pandemic this past year has made it crystal clear that fast, reliable broadband access is critical for people living in Greater Minnesota – for everything from education and health care to business operations and telecommuting,” says Governor Tim Walz. “These grants continue this vitally important work toward our goal of ensuring that every Minnesotan has high-speed internet access by 2022.”
$20,645,425 in grants are being awarded to 39 projects in the sixth year of the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant program. The state grants will be matched by $33,695,279 in local funds, for a total investment in broadband infrastructure of $54,340,704.
“Connection is foundational for communities to thrive. These grants will go to help Minnesotans get critical access to broadband,” says Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “Now more than ever, we need to make sure Minnesotans have access to high-quality broadband to help our communities thrive, businesses survive, and students learn.”
Among the grants awarded:
$953,842 for Winnebago Cooperative Telecom Association – SE Faribault/W Freeborn County FTTP.
Governor Walz’ office says this last mile fiber optic project will bring service to 319 unserved locations, including 289 homes, 16 businesses, 11 farms, and three community anchor institutions in the townships of Clark, Foster, Kiester, Seely, Alden, Carlston, Manchester, Mansfield, and Pickerel Lake located in Southeastern Faribault and Western Freeborn counties. As a result of this project, those served will have access to the broadband they need to adapt to the rapidly changing needs of business, employment, education, and social applications. The local match is $2,225,539.
$1,173,330 for MiBroadband, LLC – Rural Preston FTTP.
The Governor’s office says the Rural Preston fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) project will serve 231 unserved and 26 underserved locations in the rural portions of southern Fillmore County. The FTTP network will improve access to education and health care services and increase employment as businesses leverage this new network and telecommuting opportunities become accessible. The local match is $2,197,042.