Northeast Minnesota gets good news from ARRA

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the funding of 43 new broadband infrastructure projects. I am pleased to report that Minnesota had two projects funded (and one ND grant helps us too)…

Arrowhead Electric Cooperative, Inc.
$16,137,484
This approximately $16.1 million award, matched by $600,000 in private contribution, will allow Arrowhead Electric Cooperative, Inc. to build a last-mile FTTH network to serve northeastern Cook County. Because of the topography of the land and dense forestation, fixed wireless is not an option. This wireline, passive fiber-optic network will offer up to 100 Mbps symmetrical service. Approximately, 11,363 people stand to benefit, as do roughly 138 businesses and 63 community institutions. In addition to the more than 87 jobs the company estimates this project will create upfront, it will provide a foundation for economic growth and job creation for decades to come.

Lake County
$66,369,064
This approximately $66.3 million award, matched by $3.5 million in private contribution, will allow Lake County to offer FTTP advanced voice, video and data services to every home and business in Lake and eastern Saint Louis Counties. Approximately 37,000 people stand to benefit, as do roughly 1,000 businesses and 98 community institutions. In addition to the 510 jobs Lake County estimates this project will create upfront, it will provide a foundation for economic growth and job creation for decades to come.

Red River Rural Telephone Association, Inc.
ND (96%) MN (4%)
This approximately $9 million award, matched by $1 million in private contribution will allow Red River Rural Telephone Association, Inc., to offer FTTP broadband service speeds of up to 100 Mbps. The project will install 690 route miles of fiber-optic cable to serve six rural exchanges in Ransom, Richland, and Sargent Counties in North Dakota as well as Wilkin County in Minnesota, and Roberts and Marshall Counties in South Dakota. Approximately 2,600 people stand to benefit, as do roughly 228 businesses and 6 community institutions. In addition to the 110 jobs the company estimates this project will create upfront, it will provide a foundation for economic growth and job creation for decades to come.

You can see the full list on the USDA web site.

According to a timeline the White House posted in August, it appears as if this will be the last announcement made from the USDA/RUS – however we are still waiting for announcements from the Department of Commerce (NTIA).

This entry was posted in Digital Divide, Funding, MN, Rural and tagged by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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