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Charter, Mediacom and Midco were among the providers awarded broadband grants from the state of Minnesota yesterday. But most winners were small local companies – and so were those winning the largest grants.

The awards came through two programs – the long-lived Border-to-Border Broadband Program and the Low Population Density Program.

The largest grants came from the Border-to-Border Program, which provides funding for last-mile connectivity to areas lacking high-speed broadband. Federated Telephone Cooperative will take home over $8.2 million and Albany Mutual Telephone Association will take home over $7.1 million.

The awards for Charter, Midco and Mediacom also came through the Border-to-Border Program. Mediacom won two grants totaling almost $1 million. Midco’s award was for just over $800,000. Charter won just under $415,000.

In total, 16 awards to 14 companies were made through the Border-to-Border Program. Over $33.3 million in total was awarded through that program in this round.

The Low Population Density Program targets areas with especially high deployment costs. All those awards went to small local companies.

Two companies – Bevcomm and Arvig – are slated to receive over $4 million from the program. Arvig’s funding came in two separate awards for two different counties. Eight awards totaling over $19.7 million were made through the program and will go to seven providers.

“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,” said Bree Maki, executive director of Minnesota’s Office of Broadband Development, in a prepared statement about the Minnesota broadband grants.

The Office of Broadband Development is responsible for administering both the Border-to-Program and the Low Population Density Program, as well as several other Minnesota broadband funding programs. It will begin accepting applications for another $50 million in broadband grants later this month.


The companies that won funding through the Border-to-Border program in this round include:

  • 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 to be confused with Consolidated Communications)
  • Albany Mutual Telephone Association

Companies winning grants from the Low Population Density Program in this round are:

  • Nuvera Communications
  • Wikstrom Telephone Company
  • Upsala Cooperative Telephone Assoc. dba Sytek
  • Arvig
  • Woodstock Telephone Company
  • Garden Valley Telephone Company
  • Bevcomm

A complete list of funding winners, including the amounts won and counties to be served, can be found at this link.

Additional information about Minnesota broadband, including links to state funding resources and state-specific Telecompetitor coverage, can be found on Telecompetitor’s Broadband Nation page for the state.

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