Three providers are seeking Border to Border grants in Douglas County (MN)

The Echo Press reports

Now that area is in an enviable position. Three internet providers are vying for state funding to provide residents with high-speed, top-notch fiber optic internet service. It’s unusual for three providers to target the same area of Douglas County.

Gardonville, Arvig-Tekstar, and Spectrum-Charter have all applied for grants from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, which will dispense up to $67 million dollars in 2023, about triple what has been appropriated in previous years. The money is awarded through a program called the Border-to-Border grants. …

Each company has targeted an area with slightly different borders, but they all include the Emerald neighborhood as well as areas north along the Lake Carlos shore and along Highway 29. Only Perham-based Arvig includes the city of Carlos, while Gardonville, based in Brandon, would go further south, scooping in Laura Lake, the Nordic Hills Golf Course, the area adjacent to the Belle River State Wildlife Management Area and north to sections of Viking Trail and Fairfield Creek Road. Charter, headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, would serve two areas west and east of Carlos.

Douglas County could use some help…

Douglas County is lagging much of the state in reaching broadband goals, according to the Grand Rapids-based Blandin Foundation, which ranks Douglas County 58th of 87 counties for broadband access. It says that 5,532 households in Douglas County do not have access to internet speeds of 100 megabits per second download and 20 megabits per second upload, and says it will cost about $51.4 million to extend that level of broadband to the entire county.

The most recent census data says that 92.9% of Douglas County households has a computer, and that 83.6% have a broadband internet connection, but it doesn’t specify the broadband speeds.

They have had good luck in getting grants in the past.

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