Details on the $125 million(?) bill for broadband in MN

Added 2pm May 12: Always grateful to have friends who are smarter than I am!

the extra $25m is the second half of the state general funds ($50m) that they appropriated last year. when they passed the bill last year it appropriated money in the second fiscal year of last biennium (2023) and the first fiscal year of this biennium (2024).
since they are passing the FY2024-2025 budget this year, they have to put language in the new budget to re-appropriate that $25 million. in other words, it’s just a technicality. the money is already in the bank at OBD. $100m is the new funding.

I keep reading about the $100 million for broadband grants in the MN Legislature but looking at the details, it looks like $125 million for grants…

(a) $350,000 each year is for the Office of Broadband Development.

(b) $75,000,000 the first year and $50,000,000
the second year are for transfer to the border-to-border broadband fund account established in Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.396. Of the amount transferred each year,
$20,000,000 is for lower population density program grants under Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.3952. This is a onetime appropriation.

The grant maximum has been lifted to $10,000…

Minnesota Statutes 2022, section 116J.395, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.


(a) No grant awarded under this section may fund more than 50 percent of the total cost of a project.

(b) Grants awarded to a single project under this section must not exceed $5,000,000 $10,000,000.

And there is room for 75 percent match in lower population density areas…

Sec. 4.


Subdivision 1.


A lower population density grant program is established
in the Department of Employment and Economic Development. The purpose of the lower
population density grant program is to provide broadband service to unserved and
underserved areas of the state where a 50 percent match formula is not adequate to make a
business case for the extension of broadband facilities.

Subd. 2.


Grants awarded under this section may fund up to 75 percent of the
total cost of a project and must otherwise adhere to section 116J.395, subdivisions 1 to 6
and subdivision 7, paragraph (b).

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

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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