U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) today (Wednesday, Aug. 18)announced $23,666,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for three broadband projects in Minnesota.
Sjoberg’s, Inc. – This approximately $866,000 award will allow Sjoberg’s, Inc. to offer FTTH broadband service in Roseau, Thief River Falls, and the hamlet of Fox. This project will benefit many small farms located in the “grain belt”. Approximately 656 people stand to benefit, as do roughly 15 businesses and 3 community institutions.
Carver County – This nearly $6 million award will allow the County of Carver to offer affordable middle-mile broadband service in south central Minnesota. The project plans to connect schools, libraries, and community colleges, including the Waconia Library and the South Metro campus of the Dunwoody College of Technology, to improve educational services, distance learning, and remote teaching. The project also proposes to construct 121 miles of new fiber that will be open to as many as nine last-mile providers in the region in order to improve commercial broadband availability and adoption. As many as 57,600 people stand to benefit as do 2,700 businesses.
Enventis Telecom – This approximately $16.8 million award, with more than $7.2 million in matching contributions, will allow Enventis Telecom to offer affordable middle-mile broadband service in Minnesota. The project plans to directly connect 70 community institutions to broadband. As many as 350,400 people stand to benefit as do 28,000 businesses. Enventis estimates that the project will create more than 250 jobs.