I am starting the annual County Profiles series – where I look at how each county is doing with broadband. I enjoy doing it but right now it feels a little like I’m standing on the high dive – 87 counties is a long way down.
In preparation, I created a list of MN border to border grant broadband received in each county (and tribal area), I thought it might be useful to some folks. It’s long; you can also download the Word Doc… (Please let me know if you have any corrections!)
Minnesota Broadband Grants by County and Tribal Area
2017 – SCI (Savage Communications Inc.) – Shamrock Township Broadband Expansion – GRANT $148,503
This last mile project will serve 374 unserved households near and around the Big Sandy Lake area in Aitkin County. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, SCI Broadband will improve broadband service levels to 250 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up, meeting and exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. SCI will leverage its existing middle mile infrastructure to deploy a last mile fiber to the premise network to local businesses and residents. Building the fiber to the premise network will improve access to education, telemedicine, telecommuting and economic development as a whole within the region.
2016 – MILLE LACS ENERGY COOPERATIVE FTTP PROJECT – GRANT: $1,757,640
This last mile project will serve 763 unserved households, 2 unserved businesses, 2 unserved community anchor institutions and 31 underserved households and 2 underserved businesses in Aitkin County in north central Minnesota. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, MLEC and Consolidated Telecommunications Company (CTC) will improve service levels in the project area to Gigabit speeds via fiber-to-the-home, exceeding 2026 state speed goals and bringing vital communications to Aitkin and Mille Lacs Counties. The initial project phase is located entirely within Aitkin County, the most unserved of all of Minnesota’s 87 counties. CTC and MLEC are both cooperatives, following the 6th cooperative principle: Cooperation amongst cooperatives. This unique partnership will build a robust, future-proof network that helps provide new business solutions, along with enhanced employment, health care, and educational experiences. Total eligible project cost is $3,515,280. Local match is $1,757,640.
2016 – BENTON COOPERATIVE TELEPHONE COMPANY RAMEY – GRANT: $225,100
This last mile project will serve 122 unserved households and 5 unserved businesses in the rural Ramey, MN exchange. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Benton Cooperative will improve unserved levels to 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload, reaching the 2026 state speed goal, increasing opportunities for educational access for all ages, telemedicine, telecommuting, and improved business development. Total eligible project cost is $776,220. Local match is $551,120.
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