In Aitkin County, USDA will provide a $1.95 million grant to Mille Lacs Energy Cooperative. The project will create a Fiber to the Premises Network to 235 establishments in parts of the county, including tribal land and facilities of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.
The project seeks to help with business and economic development, as well as telehealth and educational improvements, USDA says.
A total of $152 million is being invested in 19 projects in 14 states, mostly in rural areas, according to information from USDA.
“Deploying high-speed broadband internet connectivity, or ‘e-Connectivity,’ in rural America expands access to essential health, educational, social and business opportunities,” USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald LaVoy said in a written statement.
A 2017 USDA report identified e-connectivity as a key to improving rural prosperity. To read the report: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/rural-prosperity-repo….