Great news for two more Minnesota regions! One project is fiber, one is wireless. One is Northeast, one is South Central. Here’s the info from the press release, I’ve included only the most pertinent parts for the Minnesota readers – you can get details on other states’ projects on the release…
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Rural Broadband Projects to Bring Economic Opportunity to Communities In Eight States
WASHINGTON, March 23, 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of broadband infrastructure projects to give rural residents in 8 states access to improved economic and educational opportunities. Funding for the projects is being provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“The broadband projects announced today will give rural Americans access to the tools they need to attract new businesses, educational opportunities and jobs,” Vilsack said. “The Obama Administration understands that bringing broadband to rural America provides a gateway for businesses and key anchor institutions – such as libraries, schools, public buildings and community centers to provide services to thousands of Americans. These projects will create jobs building these networks, and the completed systems will provide a platform for rural economic growth for years to come.”
In all, $150 million will be invested in 12 projects through funding made available by Congress in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. An additional $68.2 million in private investment will be provided in matching funds, bringing the total funds invested to $218.2 million. To date, $1.05 billion has been provided to construct 67 broadband projects in 30 states and one territory.
• Northeast Service Cooperative: The Northeast Minnesota Middle Mile Project; $21,749,110 loan and $21,749,110 grant. The funding will provide middle-mile, dark fiber, wavelength services to private-sector providers in rural areas of northeast Minnesota.
• Minnesota Valley Television Improvement Corporation: The Minnesota Wireless Expansion Project; $562,776 loan and $562,776 grant, and $281,388 of private investment. The funding will provide a two-way broadband internet network to unserved and underserved areas of west central and south central Minnesota, providing 34 additional wireless (WiMAX) access points.
Here’s a little more info on each project:
|Applicant||Northeast Service Cooperative|
|Mountain Iron, MN|
|Project title||Northeast Minnesota Middle Mile Project|
|Project type||Middle Mile|
|Grant request*||$ 32,135,681|
|Loan request||$ 11,362,539|
|Description||The Northeast Service Cooperative in partnership with state & local agencies, schools & health care organizations will implement a middle mile project to make dark fiber, wavelength services available to private sector providers in rural areas of northeast Minnesota. The project will improve access to critical education & health care services to 20,000 households which lack broadband services.|
|Applicant||Minnesota Valley Television Improvement Corporation|
|GRANITE FALLS, MN|
|Project title||Minnesota Wireless Expansion|
|Project type||Last Mile Non-Remote Area|
|Grant request||$ 562,776|
|Loan request||$ 562,776|
|Description||MVTV Wireless is proposing to continue building out it’s two-way broadband internet network to un-served and underserved areas of west central and south central Minnesota. The proposed project will add 34 additional WIMAX Access Points in 34 un-served and underserved communities adjacent and contiguous to its current service area.|
Sorry this is a little slow off the mark. I have learned a valuable lesson about working remotely – it saves time and hassles. It took me 37 hours to get from Dublin to St Paul this week. I’m in town for a presentation. Next time I think I’ll offer to present online. (Although sunshine wise I picked a great week to come home!)