It’s nice to see the prospective broadband fund applications lining up – especially after we really heard at Farmfest that the State and Legislators are looking at applications to determine future need for funds. Here’s the latest on Winona’s plans from the Winona Daily News…
The Winona County Board on Tuesday approved a partnership with HBC on a grant process that could expand access to broadband throughout the county.
The county’s Economic Development Authority director, Natalie Siderius, told the board that in “most of Winona County, we have quite a few areas that are underserved.”
Broadband access is a growing issue in Minnesota, with the state Legislature creating a competitive grant program run by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development that provides matching funds to help communities develop the internet access.
So far, the Winona region hasn’t capitalized on those funds: There were no applications from any southeast Minnesota organizations during the last grant cycle.
HBC president Dan Pecarina presented to the board Tuesday along with Siderius. HBC is interested in partnering with the county to provide funds for matching the grant, Pecarina said, noting that bringing strong, reliable internet into rural areas improves lives and business.