The Mille Lacs County Board of Commissioners signed a letter in support of broadening the county’s broadband options at their regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 9.
SCI Broadband has put in a grant application to the Office of Broadband Development, which has a Border-to-Border Broadband Development program. According to the letter signed by County Chair Genny Reynolds, “SCI Broadband is proposing to build out a Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) to rural residents, businesses, and farms in South Harbor, Isle Harbor, Lewis, and Eastside townships in Mille Lacs County.”
The State of Minnesota has broadband goals in place, which state two goals: The first, that “no later than 2022, all Minnesota businesses and homes have access to high-speed broadband … [with] minimum download speeds of at least 25 megabits per second …” The second is, by 2026, for businesses and homes to “have access to at least one provider of broadband with download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second …”
Reynolds’ letter says the proposed project from SCI Broadband would “exceed” those state goals. Currently, “nearly 40 percent of households in Mille Lacs County lack access” to broadband that would meet the state’s goals for 2026.