Farm Bill includes $350 million for broadband

MPR reports

Broadband in rural areas also gets a boost in the 2018 farm bill, which sets aside $350 million dollars for loans and grants. The money is specifically targeted to rural communities that don’t have broadband, or have slow broadband service.

A recent report from the state Governor’s Task Force on Broadband shows that Minnesota is making progress, with about 90 percent of households able to access internet speeds of 25 megabits per second or higher.

Great news – but I think it’s time we start looking at how much in Minnesota has access to the 2026 speed goals of 100 Mbps down and 20 up. When you look at that speed the latest reports say 74 percent of Minnesota households have access to wireline 100/20.

This entry was posted in MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

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

3 thoughts on “Farm Bill includes $350 million for broadband

  1. Ann, the numbers I have seen are all over the place, but encouraging. The last information I received was that $200 million is for grants, $200 million for combination grants/loans and $200 million for loans. Upping the speed requirement to 25/3 will allow more of this money to flow into the remaining unserved pockets served by rural coops and commercial telcos. But, as always, the devil will be in the details. Rural telco consultants are on high alert.

  2. Sorry, too many programs being announced. My comment above relates to the new $600 million RUS program. Or a combination of the 2. It will take some time to filter all through this to determine what this means locally.

    • As you say the good news is that a lot is happening! I have double checked every announcement wondering if it’s new or deja vu! Luckily a lot of it is new. And I think the MN grants have prepared Minnesota communities to take advantage of every opportunity. Here’s hoping for a MN sweep of funds!

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