Minnesota announces $26M in high-speed internet grants

Published 8:22 pm Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Freeborn project included

ST. PAUL — State officials have announced $26 million in grants to expand high-speed internet access in Greater Minnesota, including one in rural Freeborn.

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Lt. Gov. Tina Smith and the Department of Employment and Economic Development announced the 2017 Border-to-Border Broadband Grant recipients Tuesday. The latest grants go to 39 broadband infrastructure projects across Minnesota aimed at providing access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet.

The Freeborn project is for $122,460 to Bevcomm.  According to a press release, the project will serve 15 unserved households and 17 unserved businesses in the rural Freeobrn area, completing a Border-to-Border grant build that began two years ago.

Smith said it’s unfair that nearly 20 percent of households in Greater Minnesota don’t have the same high-speed internet connections as in the Twin Cities. She said the grants will “expand educational, health and job opportunities for thousands of Minnesotans.”

The grants will bring enhanced broadband to 9,900 households, 2,100 businesses and 60 community institutions.

Gov. Mark Dayton secured $20 million to expand high-speed internet access during the last legislative session.