DEED Accepting Applications for Broadband Grants
~$20 million available under Border-to-Border program~
ST. PAUL – State officials are accepting applications for funding to expand broadband infrastructure in areas of Minnesota that don’t have adequate high-speed Internet service.
Governor Mark Dayton signed into law the $20 million Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program in May. Under the measure, groups can apply for up to $5 million in funding to build out broadband infrastructure in their communities. Applicants must have at least a 50 percent funding match for their projects. “Border-to-border access to reliable high-speed Internet coverage will be essential to Minnesota’s continued economic growth,” said Governor Dayton. “These competitive grants will help move our state closer to that important goal.” The Office of Broadband Development within the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is managing the grant program and application process. “Our goal is to ensure all Minnesotans have access to broadband,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “Thanks to Governor Dayton and the Legislature, the state now has a fund dedicated to spur the development of high-speed Internet availability for Minnesota consumers, businesses and schools.”
The Office Broadband Development,which was created during the 2013 legislative session to direct broadband planning and policy statewide, held meetings in seven Minnesota cities this summer to discuss the proposed application process for the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program and to obtain feedback. Eligible applicants for grants under the program can include incorporated businesses and partnerships, political subdivisions, Indian tribes, Minnesota nonprofits, cooperative associations and limited liability corporations. Applications must include information on the location of the project, the type and quantity of infrastructure that would be needed, the total cost of the project, and the sources of funding that will supplement any grant award.
Application materials and other details are available on the DEED website at http://mn.gov/deed/about/contracts/. DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and our services, visit us at http://mn.gov/deed/ . Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/mndeed .