On Monday, Harmony Telephone Company announced that construction will begin next week on its $2.5 million fiber installation in the city of Harmony. The company-funded project builds upon the federal and statewide push for expanded access to broadband internet, especially in rural areas.
Local policymakers chimed in…
Minnesota Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, also spoke to local companies’ initiative to expand their broadband offerings in his district.
“MiEnergy and Harmony Telephone and AcenTek have been very aggressive, and we actually have done quite some work in getting this broadband in to people,” Davids said.
However, Fillmore County has some catching up to do.
“Fillmore is only at about 33%,” Wells said of the county’s broadband coverage. “Fillmore and Mower: They’re the two that stand out in that southeast corner that are behind the other counties in the state. But we’ll get there.”
There is State and Federal funds…
And there’s great interest in getting there — Wells said her office will soon distribute $95 million in combined state and American Rescue Plan Act funding to finance broadband expansion projects, and through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Minnesota will receive at least $100 million to put toward broadband access.
But Harmony is not using any…
Though the Harmony fiber project is not funded with state or federal dollars, Huffman said public-private partnerships such as ARPA are helpful for developing broadband access in more rural parts of southeast Minnesota.