KLGR listening area receives over $2 million in broadband grants from state

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Tuesday 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 goes to broadband providers and communities to build out wireline and fixed wireless broadband infrastructure to Greater Minnesota. The funding pays for up to 50 percent of the cost of developing broadband for improved high-speed internet in communities across the state.

Projects in the KLGR listening area include:

·         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.

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