Two more MN projects get ARRA funding

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
Contact Lyle MacVey
Project title Northeast Minnesota Middle Mile Project
Program BIP/BTOP
Project type Middle Mile
Grant request* $ 32,135,681
Loan request $ 11,362,539
Status Received
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
Contact Daniel Richter
Project title Minnesota Wireless Expansion
Program BIP
Project type Last Mile Non-Remote Area
Grant request $ 562,776
Loan request $ 562,776
Status Received
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!)

1 thought on “Two more MN projects get ARRA funding

  1. Pingback: Broadband options around Marshall « Blandin on Broadband

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