Four companies seek broadband grants for Douglas County

The Alexandria Echo Press reports…

Four companies have applied for state grants to expand internet access next year in Douglas County, according to records made public last week.

Arvig, Charter, Gardonville Cooperative Telephone Association and Runestone Telecom Association are all seeking some of the $20 million the Minnesota Legislature approved this year to help expand high-quality internet access throughout the state.

They took a look at how the providers chose their areas…

Gardonville Cooperative Telephone Association has applied for six grants, responding to neighborhoods that organized and asked for service, said Executive Director Dave Wolf.

“The neighborhoods we selected were all unserved as far as the state map was concerned,” he said. “We had been reached out to by residents in those neighborhoods.”

A Lake Victoria neighborhood was particularly active, he said, with residents helping to organize their neighbors.

“It’s a grass roots thing, very effective, but we encourage that,” Wolf said.

Next year, Gardonville would like to run fiber to 600 homes, including 300 existing customers and 300 new customers, he said. Gardonville chose to break up its grant requests into six projects, hoping that if one grant gets turned down, another will win approval.

Meanwhile, Runestone applied for just one grant, but it covers a sizable chunk of turf south of Interstate 94.

“This is by far the biggest one that we’ve applied for,” Hedstrom said. Runestone’s first grant was for 100 locations and its second was for 400 locations. This one includes 965 locations.

“We kind of went where people called, and where people contacted us,” he said. “It doesn’t make much sense to do (Lake) Andrew and Forada and skip everybody in between. They’re just as important as everybody else.”

And here’s a look at the specifics…

It’s unlikely that all these projects would receive full funding from Minnesota’s Border-to-Border grant program. However, they outline the neighborhoods that internet providers in Douglas County want to reach. Every project listed here would provide internet speeds well above the state’s goals.

Charter

  • Along U.S. Highway 29 southwest of Carlos, including Maple Way and Maple Lane NE. It would provide speeds of 940 megabits per second download and 35 megabits per second upload.

Gardonville

  • South of the interstate on the north side of Lake Andrew
  • Between Lakes Darling and Ida, around Lake Charley
  • Southeast of Garfield, along Centennial Drive NW from N. Oaks Lane NW to County Road 22 NW
  • Inside the wishbone of Lake Victoria, along its eastern shoreline
  • Near the Minnesouri Club, along Krohnfeldt Drive on Lake Miltona
  • Around Lakes Mina and Latoka
  • Gardonville would provide speeds of one gigabit upload and one gigabit download.

Runestone

  • Just one grant, but it’s a biggie, looping a chunk of Douglas County south of I-94. Like Gardonville, it would provide one gigabit down and one gigabit up.

Arvig/Tekstar

  • It also wants grant money to install connections in Forada and around Maple Lake; it would provide speeds of one gigabit down and 100 megabits up.

The Echo Press did a nice job getting info that is helpful to the community and beyond!

 

This entry was posted in MN, MN Broadband Fund Awards, Vendors by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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