Minnesota’s largest single investment in broadband infrastructure in state history announced – Agweek

st. PAUL — Internet provider receives nearly $100 million to expand his broadband coverage to more Minnesotans.

“This historic funding will dramatically improve broadband access for thousands of Minnesotans,” Walz said in a press release. “Broadband connects students to new educational opportunities, provides more flexibility for workers, expands access to medical resources and information, and helps us stay connected to the people who matter most. This investment is essential to making Minnesota a great state to live, work and raise a family, no matter where you live.”

According to a DEED news release, 61 broadband expansion projects around Minnesota will receive $99.6 million in grants from the Cross-border Broadband Program administered by the Broadband Development Office of the Department of Employment, Economic Development (DEED). The provider’s grant recipient estimates the funding will expand new high-speed Internet connections to more than 33,000 of his homes and businesses in 48 Minnesota counties. A list of grants by project can be found below or on the DEED website.

“Broadband is the plumbing of the 21st century. Without broadband, businesses and households would not be able to participate in today’s economy,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “BroadbandHe is proud to work with providers to deliver historic grants that enhance growth and equity in the state.”

The new grant represents a significant acceleration of cross-border programs, according to the release. Since the program’s inception in 2014, DEED has provided nearly $130 million of his cross-border grants to connect her more than 57,000 homes and businesses around Minnesota to high-speed internet.

This investment includes funding primarily from two sources. half of his $50 million appropriations from the state legislature signed by Walz this year, and his $70 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan.

The maximum grant amount is $5 million per project, and the grant can be used to reimburse up to 50% of the grantee’s eligible costs for deploying broadband infrastructure. The project must meet or exceed the state’s 2026 broadband speed target of 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload.

DEED will soon launch a new cross-border Request for Proposals (RFP) to award $67.6 million ($25 million from Congress and $42.6 million in federal funding) for broadband deployment. RFP applications will begin around December 19, 2022.

Bree Maki, Executive Director of DEED’s Broadband Development Office, said: “DEED, broadband providers, and the Minnesota community continue to learn how to best utilize federal, state, local, and private resources in complementary ways to expand broadband services. Providers that were not offered are encouraged to apply for the next grant round so we can continue working together to serve the people of Minnesota.”

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