The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has awarded 61 grants in the sixth year of its Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant program.
The grants total $99,592,711. This funding will be supported by $152,259,620 in private and local funds for a total investment of $251,852,331.
The largest grant is $5 million that is being awarded to East Central Energy for the Isanti North project. It will serve approximately 1,988 unserved and underserved households and 142 unserved and underserved businesses, 353 unserved and underserved farms and 3 unserved and underserved community anchor institutions in the Isanti and Kanabec Counties. The project cost is $16,850,584 and local match is $11,850,584.
Arvig was one of the leading Minnesota broadband grant recipients. The company received $8.7 million for six main line and last mile projects. The projects garnered city and county matches and, with Arvig capital investments, totaled $28.9 million. The networks will serve about 1,413 unserved and 3,212 underserved structures in Anoka, Otter Tail, Redwood, Sherburne and Stearns counties.
Other notable grant winners:
- Mediacomm: East Scanlon, Esko, Esquagama Lake, Hibbing, Swan
- Lumen/CenturyLink: Harris
- Midco: Forest Lake and Isanti County
- Charter/Spectrum: Dakota County, Steele County, Wright County (two)
- Xfinity/Comcast: Corcoran, Rogers
The Minnesota broadband grant program is funded with a combination of state general fund revenues and federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Capital Projects Funds (CPF). Grant rounds available after 2023 are anticipated to be funded with Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Funds (BEAD).