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Over $760,000 Awarded to the UMVRDC Region for Broadband Projects!

by Melissa on November 21st, 2017

DEED announces Border to Border grant recipients for 2017 – $26 Million for 39 Broadband Projects Across Greater Minnesota

I hope to dive deeper into the projects in the coming weeks – but just in time for Thanksgiving, here’s the big announcements from the Office of Broadband Development (DEED and Lt Governor Tina Smith)…

Lt. Governor Tina Smith, Department of Employment and Economic Development Announce $26 Million for 39 Broadband Projects Across Greater Minnesota

New round of grants will expand high-speed internet access to 9,973 households, 2,169 businesses, and 60 community institutions in Greater Minnesota

map of the 39 broadband infrastructure projects funded during the 2017 grant cycle.

New state grant funding will leverage an additional $34 million in private and local funding

State grant program has invested a total of $85 million, provided 33,852 households, 5,189 businesses, and 300 community institutions broadband access since 2014

ST. PAUL, MN – Lt. Governor Tina Smith and the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) today announced the 2017 Border-to-Border Broadband Grant recipients. The grants total $26 million for 39 broadband infrastructure projects that will provide 9,973 households, 2,169 businesses, and 60 community institutions across Minnesota access to reliable, affordable high-speed internet.

The funding, which comes from a combination of $20 million approved during the 2017 legislative session, plus carryover from previous grant rounds, goes to broadband providers and communities to build out wireline and fixed wireless broadband infrastructure to Greater Minnesota.

map of the broadband infrastructure projects overlaid with the statewide broadband need

Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith secured the $20 million to expand high-speed internet access during the 2017 Legislative Session, after first proposing a $66 million investment. Overall, the Dayton-Smith Administration has proposed more than $210 million for rural high-speed internet development since 2014.

“It’s not fair when almost 20 percent of Greater Minnesota households don’t have the same high-speed internet connections as their friends and family in the cities,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “The grants we are announcing today will help level the playing field and expand educational, health and job opportunities for thousands of Minnesotans. We have made important progress, but too many Minnesotans still lack access to the promise of the 21st Century. We must do more to ensure border-to-border high-speed internet access across Minnesota.”

The 2017 Border-to-Border Broadband Grant recipients represent all technologies eligible for the funding: fiber optic, cable, fixed wireless, and DSL. Internet providers from all regions of the state also are represented.

“Access to quality, affordable broadband is a tool that levels the playing field for Minnesotans all across the state,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “This funding, and the private investment leveraged from it, will soon allow even more individuals, communities and businesses the opportunity to access the internet at speeds that meet today’s demands.”

Minnesota’s Border-to-Border Broadband Development Program provides internet providers grants to expand broadband service to areas of Minnesota that are unserved or underserved. The funding pays for up to 50 percent of the cost of developing broadband for improved high-speed internet in communities across the state.

Dayton-Smith Administration’s Broadband Investment
Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith have proposed $211 million in funding to expand affordable, reliable broadband internet access in Greater Minnesota since 2014. The Dayton-Smith Administration has secured a total of $85 million in total for broadband infrastructure expansion. This funding expanded reliable, afford broadband access to 33,852 households, 5,189 businesses, and 300 community institutions broadband access since 2014. More information about past projects funded can be found here.
The Governor’s Task Force on Broadband, a nonpartisan group charged with analyzing Minnesota’s broadband needs, recommended $100 million in on-going biennial funding for the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program in its 2016 Annual Report. In 2015, the Task Force determined a total investment of at least $900 million is needed to ensure that all Minnesotans have broadband internet regardless of where they live.

2017 Broadband Infrastructure Grant Awards
This fall, Lt. Governor Smith and DEED are announcing 39 projects in communities across Minnesota. Below is a description of the projects and the amount of funding awarded in the latest round.

Northeast

  • Carlton County w/ Frontier, Phase I: Cromwell/Kettle River – $569,058. This project will leverage federal CAF II funding available to Frontier Communications combined with State of Minnesota grant dollars to bring enhanced broadband to 298 currently unserved households in the western one-third of Carlton County, in and around the communities of Cromwell and Kettle River. The project will improve broadband service levels to the 2022 state speed goal of at least 25 Mbps download by 3 Mbps upload. Work, school, and family life will be vastly improved with students being able to do homework at home, along with expanded options for telecommuting and growing or starting businesses that require sufficient bandwidth to be competitive in local and world markets from this remote area. The total eligible project cost is $1,138,117, with a $569,059 local match.
  • CenturyLink, Fredenberg Township FTTH Project – $1,809,312. This last mile project will serve 835 unserved households and 17 unserved businesses with fiber-to-the-home in Fredenberg Township near Duluth in St. Louis County. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, CenturyLink will improve broadband service levels to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals in an area that for the most part, can currently obtain no more than 4 Mbps download speed. A state-of-the-art advanced broadband network will have a significant and positive impact on people in the project area. Consumers will be able to work from home, have better access to education and healthcare, and businesses will be better able to compete locally and globally. The total eligible project cost is $3,618,625, with a $ 1,809,313 local match.
  • Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Brookston Project – $258,265. This last mile project will serve up to 108 unserved homes, 8 unserved businesses, and 1 community anchor institution in a project area in the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation in northeastern Minnesota. This area also includes the town of Brookston. A funding partnership with the State of Minnesota and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa will improve broadband service levels up to 1 Gbps down and 1 Gbps up, exceeding the 2026 state speed goals. It will also add needed additional network redundancy for the Fond du Lac Reservation. The fiber-to-the-home network will open up many opportunities such as telemedicine, Home Health Care, and improved and secure electronic health records; and online education and improved business development and more. All these factors will assist in creating a more vibrant community and region. The total eligible costs is $538,052, with a $279,787 local match.
  • Paul Bunyan Communications, North Central Fiber – $802,620. This last mile project will serve unserved and underserved areas near the communities of Park Rapids, Bigfork, and Side Lake, to locations in St. Louis, Itasca, and Hubbard Counties in northern Minnesota. This includes 657 unserved households, 29 unserved businesses, and 5 unserved community institutions, and 130 underserved households, 13 underserved businesses, and 1 underserved community institution. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Paul Bunyan will build fiber-to-the-premise that will bring gigabit service to all of these locations, greatly exceeding the 2026 state and current federal speed goals. This project will improve the economic vitality of the region and bring advanced technology to areas that would likely not see state-of-the-art services without opportunities such as the Border-to-Border Broadband grant. The total eligible cost is $1,783,600, with a $980,980 local match.
  • Savage Communications, Dell Grove Township Broadband Expansion – $118,248. This last mile project will serve 170 unserved households, 3 unserved businesses, and 1 community anchor institution near and around Grindstone Lake located within Dell Grove Township, Pine County. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, SCI Broadband will improve broadband service levels to 250 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up, meeting and exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. SCI will leverage its existing middle mile infrastructure to deploy a last mile fiber to the premise network to local businesses and residents. Building the fiber to the premise network will improve access to education, telemedicine, telecommuting and economic development as a whole within the region. The total eligible cost is $236,496, with an $118,248 local match.
  • Savage Communications, Shamrock Township Broadband Expansion – $148,503. This last mile project will serve 374 unserved households near and around the Big Sandy Lake area in Aitkin County. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, SCI Broadband will improve broadband service levels to 250 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up, meeting and exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. SCI will leverage its existing middle mile infrastructure to deploy a last mile fiber to the premise network to local businesses and residents. Building the fiber to the premise network will improve access to education, telemedicine, telecommuting and economic development as a whole within the region. The total eligible cost is $297,006, with a $148,503 local match.

Northwest

  • Garden Valley Telephone Company, Bejou – $1,304,421. This last mile project will serve 214 unserved households, 17 unserved businesses, and 7 unserved community anchor institutions in Bejou and surrounding rural areas within Mahnomen County, including portions of the White Earth Reservation in northwestern Minnesota. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Garden Valley Telephone will improve broadband service levels to 1 Gbps down and 1 Gbps up, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. Bejou and White Earth leaders agree that the area is in desperate need of fast reliable Internet service to help the area progress, especially as technology continues to advance around them. The total eligible cost is $2,608,842, with a $1,304,421 local match.
  • Sjoberg’s Inc., NW MN Rural Broadband – $307,088. This last mile project will serve 98 unserved households, 10 unserved businesses, and 3 community anchor institutions in a large area west of Thief River Falls in Pennington County in northwestern Minnesota. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Sjoberg’s Inc. will improve broadband service levels to 1 Gbps down and up. This project will leverage investments made by Sjoberg’s and by ARRA/RUS grant/loan programs from earlier years and will finish out earlier state broadband grant projects, to complete Norden Township and a substantial portion of the unserved areas of Sanders and Rocksbury Townships. It will also support plans by DigiKey in Thief River Falls to add 1000 new employees. These employees are going to be knowledge workers, who will need access to advanced in-home broadband services for their jobs and for general quality of life in remote NW Minnesota. The total eligible cost is $614,176, with a $307,088 local match.
  • Wikstrom Telephone, Wiktel NW MN Broadband – $1,307,785. This project will serve rural sparsely populated areas in Kittson, Marshall, and Roseau counties in far northwestern Minnesota, passing 300 unserved homes and 31 unserved business locations. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Wikstrom will improve broadband services levels to 1 Gbps down and up, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal, on a fiber optic network, and in some locations will extend the service from routes built via the 2016 Border to Border State Grant program. The broadband improvements will foster opportunities in economic development, successful education services for children and adults alike, and allow for critical home health care monitoring in this remote area. The total eligible costs is $2,906,189, with a $1,598,404 local match.

East Central

  • Benton Cooperative Telephone Company, Rice Ramey – $765,015. The project will serve 250 unserved households and 73 unserved businesses in the area northeast of Rice in Benton and Morrison Counties with improved broadband service levels that meet or exceed the 2026 state goal of 100 Mbps download by 20 Mbps upload. This includes Langola, Graham and sections 5 and 6 of Mayhew Lake Townships, all located in Benton County, and a portion of Buckman Township located in Morrison County. Having this advanced access will improve quality of life in these rural Rice areas, including opening opportunities for business, education, health care, and telecommuting options. The total eligible project cost is $2,637,985, with a $1,872,970 local match.
  • CenturyLink, Fish Lake Township FTTH Project – $1,833,724. This last mile, fiber-to-the-home project will serve 919 unserved households, 7 unserved businesses, and one unserved community anchor institution in Fish Lake Township in rural Chisago County. In a funding partnership leveraging federal (CAF II), state grant and local township funding, CenturyLink will improve broadband service levels to 1 Gbps down and 1 Gbps up, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. This state-of-the-art advanced broadband network will have a significant positive impact on people in the project area. Consumers will be able to work from home, have better access to education and healthcare, and businesses will be better able to compete locally and globally. The total eligible project cost is $4,584,310, with a $2,750,586 local match.
  • Jaguar Communications, Sand Creek Township Area Broadband Project – $192,405. This last mile project will bring broadband service to 118 unserved households, 18 unserved businesses, and 3 community anchor institutions in the Sand Creek Township area of Scott County by constructing fiber to the premises. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Jaguar will improve broadband service levels up to 1 Gbps down and 1 Gbps up, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. Jaguar’s project will connect residents and businesses to a redundant, stable, substantial fiber optic ring, creating pathways to fully participate in today’s digital society and economy. The total eligible cost is $493,346, with a $300,941 local match.
  • Mediacom Minnesota LLC, Medina 2018 Broadband Build – $62,219. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Mediacom will leverage its existing hybrid fiber and coaxial network in the City of Medina in Hennepin County, to increase and extend advanced broadband to 22 underserved households and 12 underserved businesses, exceeding the 2022 state speed goal of 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. The project will unlock opportunities for distance learning, telemedicine, telecommuting and other increased business development. The total eligible cost is $159,535, with a $97,316 local match.
  • Midco (Midcontinent Communications), Annandale East – $537,050. This project will build out improved broadband service to 40 unserved households, and 531 underserved households and 7 underserved businesses, in the area northeast of Annandale near Bass Lake and Clearwater Lake in Wright County. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Midco will improve broadband service levels to up to 1 Gbps upload and download, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. Residents will be able to increase work and business development opportunities, and complete a quality education online through this extension from the broadband system Midco recently built in Annandale. The total eligible cost is $1,074,100, with a $537,050.
  • Palmer Wireless, Duelm Highway 95 –$162,814. This last mile project will serve 60 unserved households and 21 unserved businesses near the town of Duelm in southern Benton County, using Fiber to the Home technology capable of delivering 1 Gbps speeds up and down. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Palmer Wireless will upgrade its wireless customers, and improve broadband service levels for others along the route, through a fiber network capable of meeting and exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. The Benton Economic Partnership and Region 7W’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy identified broadband access as a fundamental infrastructure to attract and retain businesses, and enhance general quality of life. These broadband investments will help make the region a better place in which to live and to work. The total eligible cost is $361,809, with a $198,995 local match.
  • Palmer Wireless, Sherburne County Road 3 – $110,661. This last mile Fiber to the Premise project will serve 20 unserved households and 10 unserved businesses, and one underserved community institution in Sherburne County in an area near the St. Cloud Airport with speeds of 1 Gbps download and 500 Mbps upload, which exceed the state 2026 speed goal. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota and Sherburne County, Palmer Wireless will make improve broadband service levels to this residential and farming area adjacent to the St. Cloud metro area, business industrial parks and the St. Cloud Airport. This builds on Palmer Wireless’s partnership with Sherburne County to make broadband available to communities in which the county has proactively installed conduit and vaults along County Road 3, in conjunction with a highway improvement project. The total eligible cost is $245,914, with a $135,253 local match.

West Central

  • Advantenon, Rural Grant, Stevens and Wilkin Counties – $316,554. This project will serve 528 unserved households, 132 unserved businesses, and 8 unserved community anchor institutions in eligible areas across these three western Minnesota counties. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Advantenon will improve broadband service levels to 100 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload, exceeding the state speed goal set for the year 2026. This project delivers the goal of Border to Border coverage for all residents of the covered counties, benefiting residents, businesses and public entities alike through enhanced access to healthcare services, education options, entertainment and business connectivity not previously possible. The total eligible project cost is $659,488, with a $342,934 local match.
  • Albany Mutual Telephone Association, Two Rivers Area – $616,743. This last mile project will extend the existing Albany Fiber-to-the-Home network to serve 121 unserved households and home-based businesses in an area northeast of Albany in Stearns County. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Albany Mutual Telephone Association will improve broadband service levels to exceed the 2022 state goal of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. The all-optical network will provide more opportunity for the creation of new businesses, educational advances and access to healthcare services including wearable technology and home monitoring devices. The total eligible project cost is $1,233,486, with a $616,743 local match.
  • Arvig, Pelican Rapids Rural Non-ACAM – $633,642. This middle and last mile project will upgrade approximately 546 unserved households and 60 unserved businesses in the Pelican Rapids rural area of Otter Tail County. A funding partnership with the State of Minnesota and Arvig will improve broadband service levels to at least 100 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload, meeting or exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. These investments will improve quality of life and business development opportunities. The total eligible project cost is $1,624,725, with a $991,083 local match.
  • Gardonville Cooperative Telephone Association, Douglas County: Country Estates FTTH Project – $101,624. This last mile project will serve 32 unserved households and 10 unserved businesses in Douglas County near Alexandria. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Gardonville Cooperative Telephone Association will improve broadband service levels to 1Gbps per second down and 1Gbps up, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. This project will improve this neighborhood’s quality of life, from gaining the ability to perform daily activities such as at-home online homework and telecommuting options, to opening new doors for business development and improved health care. The total eligible cost is $225,830, with a $124,206 local match.
  • Gardonville Cooperative Telephone Association, Douglas County: Pospisil Drive FTTH Project – $54,155. This last mile project will serve 18 unserved households and 6 unserved businesses in the Pospisil Drive Development near Alexandria in Douglas County. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Gardonville Cooperative Telephone Association will improve broadband service levels to 1Gbps down and 1Gbps up, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. This project will continue a build-out begun last year further expanding this neighborhood’s quality of life, from gaining the ability to perform daily activities such as at-home online homework and telecommuting options, to opening new doors for business development and improved health care. The total eligible cost is $120,345, with a $66,190 local match.
  • Hanson Communications, Minnewaska Area FTTP – $4,996,791. This Fiber-to-the-Premise project will serve unserved and underserved locations in Pope County, including: 274 unserved households and 535 unserved businesses; and 468 underserved households and 181 underserved businesses and 11 underserved community institution. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Hanson Communications will improve broadband service levels to 1Gbps down and 1Gbps up for rural subscribers in the Starbuck Exchange and the Lake Minnewaska Area in west central Minnesota, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. Hanson worked together with Pope County officials to identify those areas in the rural portions of the county receiving less than sufficient broadband services. The primary customers will be residential customers and traditional family-owned farms, all to be served by reliable, affordable, high quality broadband to improve community and economic development opportunities. The total eligible cost is $11,460,530, with a $6,463,739 local match.
  • Otter Tail Telcom, Red Oak Drive – $173,683. This last mile project will serve underserved and unserved residents and businesses north of the city of Fergus Falls in Otter Tail County. This includes 7 unserved households and 2 unserved businesses, and 29 underserved households and 2 underserved businesses. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Otter Tail Telcom, LLC, will construct a fiber network initially provisioned to provide improved broadband service levels to 25/3 Mbps, meeting the state’s 2022 speed goal, and will be immediately capable of meeting and exceeding the 2026 speed goal. Beyond the benefit of providing in-home access to educational resources across all learning levels and the growing adoption of telemedicine services by rural residents, these broadband investments provide families the ability to take advantage of Smart Grid and home automation technologies, shaving dollars off utility bills, contributing to a healthy environment, and adding the convenience of home network management. Self-employed individuals, contractors and business people will gain the ability to operate a virtual office. Another often overlooked benefit is improved public safety through the use of IPAWS (Integrated Public Alert Warning System) broadband compliant devices. The total eligible cost is $347,366, with a $173,683 local match.
  • West Central Telephone Association, Northern Todd County – $902,695. This last mile project will serve 209 unserved households and 6 unserved businesses within portions of Staples Township and Villard Township in Todd County. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota and several regional development organizations, WCTA will improve broadband service levels to 1 Gbps down and 1 Gbps up, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. Building a fiber to the home network capable of Gigabit broadband service will finally provide residents and business owners the reliable connectivity they have asked for and need. Students and instructors will be able to complete their work from home; healthcare professionals will have access to medical records and the ability to provide telehealth services; and businesses and farmers will have access to applications and online tools to boost their efficiency. The total eligible cost is $1,805,390, with a $902,695 local match.
  • West Central Telephone Association, Wadena Rural Phase III – $874,581. This last mile project will serve 189 unserved households and 13 unserved businesses within Compton Township in Otter Tail County as well as portions of Wadena Township in Wadena County and in Stowe Prairie Township in Todd County. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota and several regional development organizations, West Central Telephone Association will improve broadband service levels to 1 Gbps down and up, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. Building a fiber to the home network capable of Gigabit broadband service will finally provide residents and businesses with the reliable connectivity they have asked for and need. Students and instructors will be able to complete their work from home; healthcare professionals will have access to medical records and the ability to provide telehealth services; and businesses and farmers will have access to applications and online tools to boost their efficiency. The total eligible cost is $1,822,044, with a $947,463 local match.

Southeast

  • Acentek, Rushford Village/Rural Rushford Fiber Build – $2,011,628. This project will serve 226 unserved households, 20 unserved businesses, and 289 underserved households, 20 underserved businesses, and 2 underserved community anchor institutions in the Rushford Village/Rural Rushford exchange in Fillmore County. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota and Fillmore County, AcenTek will improve broadband levels to a minimum of 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) download and 100 megabits per second (Mbps) upload, exceeding the state speed goal set for the year 2026. With fiber optic cable installation, rural Rushford will see many advancements in medicine, education, and agriculture. These three industries impact nearly every home in rural Rushford and Rushford Village. Agriculture producers will have opportunities for technology advancement, employees of area medical facilities may have options for telecommuting, and students will have faster Internet speeds for research and study materials. The total eligible project cost is $5,158,020, with a $3,146,392 local match.
  • BEVCOMM (Easton Telephone Company), Delavan SE Rural Project – $220,350. This last mile project will serve 25 unserved households and 30 unserved businesses in the Delavan SE Rural Project located in Faribault County. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, the Easton Telephone Company will improve broadband service levels to 1 Gbps down and 1 Gbps up, exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. The Delavan SE Rural Project will promote rural economic development by providing access to broadband to 100% of the households and businesses within the proposed funded service area, transforming this low income area into a highly productive rural community. The use and development of broadband will open up various home-based business options, stimulate economic growth, and encourage innovation and investment. Education, health care, energy efficiency, and public safety will improve with high-speed Internet access. The total eligible project cost is $565,000, with a $344,650 local match.
  • BEVCOMM (Cannon Valley Telephone), Freeborn Southwest Rural Final – $122,460. This last mile project will serve 15 unserved households and 17 unserved businesses in the rural Freeborn area, in Freeborn County, completing a Border-to-Border grant build that began two years ago. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Cannon Valley Telecom will improve broadband service levels to 1 Gbps down and 1 Gbps up, exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. The project will open up opportunities for business development including various home-based business options, stimulating economic growth, innovation and investment. Education, health care, energy efficiency, and public safety will improve with high-speed Internet access. The total eligible project cost is $314,000, with a $191,540 local match.
  • KMTelecom, Rural Kasson Fiber Build – $606,108. This last mile project will serve 149 unserved households and 9 unserved businesses in the rural Canisteo and Ashland Townships located south of Kasson in Dodge County in southeastern Minnesota. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, KMTelecom will improve broadband service levels to 1 Gbps down and 1 Gbps up, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. Currently the City of Kasson has an all-fiber network. This rural Kasson Fiber Build is an extension of these broadband speeds to rural Kasson, bringing access to education, healthcare and work. The network will also assist area farms by increasing productivity through access to digital technologies for agricultural production and agribusiness. The total eligible cost is $1,554,124, with a $948,016 local match.
  • Mediacom Minnesota LLC, Fountain 2018 Broadband Build – $202,125. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Mediacom will leverage its existing hybrid fiber and coaxial network in the City of Fountain in Fillmore County in southeastern Minnesota, to increase and extend advanced broadband to 161 unserved households and 20 unserved businesses, exceeding the 2022 state speed goal of 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. The project will unlock opportunities for distance learning, telemedicine, and telecommuting and other increased business development. The total eligible cost is $421,094, with a $218,969 local match.
  • Midco (Midcontinent Communications), Wanamingo – $768,600. This project will build out improved broadband infrastructure to 597 currently unserved households, 76 unserved businesses, and 4 unserved community institutions in the City of Wanamingo in Goodhue County in southeastern Minnesota. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Midco will build middle mile fiber from Randolph to Wanamingo and upgrade its existing last-mile infrastructure in Wanamingo, improving broadband service levels up to 1 Gbps up and down. This build will connect Wanamingo to Midco’s state of the art network, allowing customers access to a wide range of services that can improve work and business opportunities, health care access, and education access. The total eligible cost is $1,537,200, with a $768,600 local match.
  • New Ulm Telecom, White Rock Rural East FTTP – $411,704. This last mile project will serve 22 unserved households and 88 unserved businesses in the White Rock area in the northern half of Goodhue County in southeastern Minnesota. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, New Ulm Telecom, Inc. will improve broadband service levels to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. This Fiber-to-the-Premises network will provide reliable, affordable, high quality broadband to rural farms, businesses, and homes. Broadband access will enable these businesses and residences to utilize new technology and tools to grow and enhance their business and community, including increased access to health care and education. The total eligible cost is $914,898, with a $503,194 local match.

Southwest

  • BEVCOMM (Granada Telephone Company), Granada Rural Final – $202,410. This last mile project will serve 35 unserved households and 21 unserved businesses in the rural Granada area located in Martin County, completing a Border-to-Border grant build begun there one year ago. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Granada Telephone Company will improve broadband service levels to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. This use and development of broadband will provide various home-based business options, stimulate economic growth, and encourage innovation and investment. Education, health care, energy efficiency, and public safety will improve with high-speed Internet access. The total eligible project cost is $519,000, with a $316,590 local match.
  • Farmers Mutual Telephone, City of Watson and SW Lac qui Parle County FTTP – $760,501. This last mile project will serve 136 unserved households, 15 unserved businesses, and 5 community anchor institutions within the City of Watson and several unserved areas of southwest Lac qui Parle County in western Minnesota. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota and the City of Watson, Farmers Mutual Telephone will improve broadband service levels to 1 Gbps down and 1 Gbps up, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. Broadband infrastructure has been identified as a high priority in the regional strategic plan. The investments will help support job creation and economic prosperity throughout the region, helping numerous businesses create jobs and be more competitive. New jobs related to farming, home-based business start-ups, and commercial expansions are all possible with improved broadband infrastructure. It will also provide improved accessibility for all residents to health care and education opportunities. The total eligible project cost is $1,552,043, with a $791,542 local match.
  • MVTC (Minnesota Valley Telephone Company, Inc.), Milroy Broadband Project – $742,365. This last mile project will serve 246 unserved households and 22 unserved businesses in the Milroy Broadband Project located in both Redwood and Lyon Counties. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Valley Telephone Company, Inc. will improve broadband service levels to 1 Gbps down and 1 Gbps up, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. The broadband investments will promote rural economic development and transform through increased opportunity for home-based business options, education, health care, energy efficiency, and public safety. The total eligible cost is $1,903,500, with a $1,161,135 local match.
  • New Ulm Telecom, Hanska A&D FTTP – $324,894. This last mile project will serve 9 unserved households and 38 unserved businesses in the Hanska area south of New Ulm near the border of Brown and Watonwan Counties. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, New Ulm Telecom, Inc. will improve broadband service levels to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. This Fiber-to-the-Premises network will provide reliable, affordable, high quality broadband to rural farms, businesses, and homes. Broadband access will enable these businesses and residences to use new technology and tools to grow and enhance their business and community, including increased access to health care and education. The total eligible cost is $721,988, with a $397,094 local match.
  • Winthrop Telephone Company, Cornish Township FTTP Project – $365,895. This last mile project will serve 58 unserved households and 2 unserved businesses in Cornish Township located in Sibley County in south central Minnesota. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Winthrop Telephone Company, Inc. will improve broadband service levels to 1 Gbps down and 1 Gbps up, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. The 60 locations are primarily agricultural-related sites, which given the size and technical sophistication of these operations, need advanced broadband to remain vital and competitive. The total eligible costs is $813,100, with a $447,205 local match.
  • Woodstock Telephone Company, Balaton FTTP – $413,009. This last mile project will serve 305 underserved households, 28 underserved businesses, and 6 underserved community anchor institutions in the city of Balaton in Lyon County in southwestern Minnesota. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Woodstock will improve broadband service levels to 1 Gbps down and 1 Gbps up, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. Woodstock has received many requests for service in the City of Balaton and is already providing service to a few businesses. Building a Fiber to the Premise network will improve access to education and healthcare services. It will also increase employment as businesses leverage this new network and telecommuting opportunities become accessible, strengthening and expanding rural community and economic vitality. The total project cost is $1,424,169, with a $1,011,160 local match.
  • Woodstock Telephone Company, Pipestone County Wireless – $363,851. This middle mile project expands the reach of fixed wireless service to serve 135 unserved households, 540 unserved businesses, and 1 unserved community anchor institution in rural Pipestone County in southwestern Minnesota. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Woodstock will improve unserved levels to a minimum of 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload with higher speeds of 75Mbps/25Mbps and above where available. These speeds exceed the 2022 state speed goal. Woodstock has received many requests for service in the county and is already providing service to locations where they have existing fiber and wireless infrastructure available. Building a reliable high speed fixed wireless network with fiber backhaul will improve access to education and healthcare services and increase employment opportunities as businesses leverage this new network, strengthening and expanding rural community and economic vitality. The total project cost is $727,703, with a $363,852 local match.

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