Minnesota Broadband Grants Go to Small Providers

Minnesota Broadband Grants Go to Small Providers

On Wednesday, the state of Minnesota granted broadband grants to several providers, including Mediacom, Midco, and Charter.

Let’s read the news and find out more.

Minnesota Broadband Grants Go to Small Providers

The grants were provided through the Border-to-Border Broadband Program and the Low Population Density Program.

Minn. Stat. 116J.395 established the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program in 2014.

The primary goal of this grant program is to support new and existing providers in their efforts to expand broadband infrastructure in underserved and unserved parts of the state by offering financial resources that help strengthen their business cases.

Similarly, The Department of Employment and Economic Development established a funding scheme called the Low Population Density Program.

Underserved and unserved areas of the state where a 50 percent match formula is insufficient to support a business case for the development of broadband facilities will be served by the lower population density grant program.

Both of the programs aim to help businesses expand broadband in underserved areas.

The Office of Broadband Development manages the Low Population Density Program, the Border-to-Program, and several other broadband funding initiatives in Minnesota.

Later this month, applications will be accepted for an additional $50 million in broadband grants.

This time, most of the cash came from the Border-to-Border Program, which finances last-mile connectivity to places without high-speed internet.

Over $8.2 million will be awarded to Federated Telephone Cooperative, and over $7.1 million will be awarded to Albany Mutual Telephone Association.

Minnesota Broadband Grant Go to Small Providers
Minnesota Broadband Grants Go to Small Providers

The Border-to-Border Program also provided grants to Charter, Midco, and Mediacom. Two grants of over $1 million were awarded to Mediacom.

The amount awarded to Midco was just over $800,000, and Charter of $415,000. Fourteen companies received 16 awards in total from the Border-to-Border Program.

Through that program, awards totaling more than $33.3 million were given out in this round.

Here is the list of companies that will be receiving funding through this round Border-to-Border Program:

Midco, Easton Telephone Company, Hanson Communications, Red River Communications, Gardonville Cooperative Telephone, Mediacom, East Central Energy, Federated Telephone Cooperative, Meeker Cooperative Light & Power Association, Arvig, Charter, Savage Communications, Consolidated Telephone Company (not Consolidated Communications) and Albany Mutual Telephone Association.

As stated earlier, The Low Population Density Program is designed to target areas where deployment costs are particularly high. Grants from this program were given to small local companies.

Under this program, more than $4 million will be distributed to two businesses, Bevcomm and Arvig. The funds for Arvig were given to two different counties in two separate awards. Eight grants totaling more than $19.7 million will be given to seven providers.

Here is a complete list of winners who will be receiving grants from this round of the Low Population Density Program: Nuvera Communications, Wikstrom Telephone Company, Upsala Cooperative Telephone Assoc. dba Sytek, Arvig, Woodstock Telephone Company, Garden Valley Telephone Company, and Bevcomm.

Bree Maki, executive director of Minnesota’s Office of Broadband Development, stated in a prepared statement regarding the Minnesota broadband grants, “As the Office of Broadband Development enters its 10th year, I’m inspired by – and grateful for – our ongoing partnership with broadband providers as we work together to deploy reliable, high-speed broadband to the Minnesotans who need it.”

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About the author

Eliana Cooper

Eliana Cooper is an esteemed editor at World-Wire, recognized for her expertise in sports and government news. With a background in Journalism and Political Science, she excels in delivering in-depth and factual reporting. Her work is known for its thorough research and clear presentation, making complex topics accessible. Eliana's contributions have earned her recognition, including the "Excellence in Sports Journalism" award in 2023.

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