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Walz announces 39 new border-to-border broadband grants

ST. PAUL — Gov. Tim Walz announced Thursday that the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will award grants totaling $20,645,425 to 39 projects in the sixth year of the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant program. State grant dollars are matched by $33,695,279 in local funds, for a total investment in broadband infrastructure of $54,340,704.

“The pandemic this past year has made it crystal clear that fast, reliable broadband access is critical for people living in Greater Minnesota – for everything from education and health care to business operations and telecommuting,” said Walz. “These grants continue this vitally important work toward our goal of ensuring that every Minnesotan has high-speed internet access by 2022.”

The projects will bring high-quality broadband access to underserved and unserved areas of Minnesota, providing fast, reliable internet access for 6,922 businesses, homes, and community anchor institutions.

Minnesota has set a goal for universal access and high-speed internet so that by no later than 2022, all Minnesota businesses and homes have access to high-speed broadband that provides minimum download speeds of at least 25 megabits per second and minimum upload speeds of at least three megabits per second. And by no later than 2026, all Minnesota businesses and homes have access to at least one provider of broadband with download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second and upload speeds of at least 20 megabits per second.

Nuvera is the recipient of five of the grants, totaling $1,918,037. The local contribution for the projects total $3,501,580. The projects include:

• Nuvera Communications, Inc. – Goodhue Welch FTTP – grant $340,790. Total eligible project cost is $973,686. Local match is $632,896.

This last mile project south of Welch will serve 100 unserved and 15 underserved locations in Goodhue County. In a funding partnership with the state, Nuvera Communications, Inc., will bring broadband service levels to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the state’s 2022 and 2026 speed goals. This fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network will enable households, businesses and farms in the project area to utilize new technology and tools to grow and enhance their community.

• Nuvera Communications, Inc. – Goodhue West FTTP – grant $532,232. Total eligible project cost is $1,520,662. Local match is $988,430.

This last mile project will serve 148 unserved and two underserved locations in Goodhue, Zumbrota, Minneola, and Belle Creek townships in Goodhue County and Chester Township in Wabasha County. In a funding partnership with the state, Nuvera Communications, Inc., will bring broadband service levels to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the state’s 2022 and 2026 speed goals. The reliable, affordable, high quality broadband service will enable residents in the project area to have increased access to health care and education, and farms and business will have the technology to enhance their operations.

• Nuvera Communications, Inc. – Hutchinson SE FTTP – grant $169,369. Total eligible project cost is $423,423. Local match is $254,054.

This last mile project will serve 42 unserved and five underserved locations in the Hutchinson area of McLeod County. In a funding partnership with the state, Nuvera Communications, Inc., will bring broadband service levels to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the state’s 2022 and 2026 speed goals. This fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network will provide reliable, affordable, high-quality broadband to rural farms, businesses, and homes in the project area.

• Nuvera Communications, Inc. – New Ulm HDT 202 FTTP – grant $444,386. Total eligible project cost is $1,269,675. Local match is $825,289.

This last mile project north of New Ulm will serve approximately 80 unserved and 67 underserved locations in Nicollet County. In a funding partnership with the state, Nuvera Communications, Inc., will bring broadband service levels to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the state’s 2022 and 2026 speed goals. This fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network will provide reliable, affordable, high-quality broadband to rural farms, businesses, and homes, enabling them to thrive in a modern world.

• Nuvera Communications, Inc. – Webster Rural FTTP – Grant $431,260. Total eligible project cost is $1,232,171. Local match is $800,911

This last mile project will serve 103 unserved and 178 underserved locations in Wheatland and Webster townships in Rice County, Euraka and Greenvale townships in Dakota County, and New Market and Cedar Lake townships in Scott County. In a funding partnership with the state, Nuvera Communications, Inc., will bring broadband service levels to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the state’s 2022 and 2026 speed goals. The reliable, affordable, high-quality broadband service will enable residents in the project area to have increased access to health care and education, and farms and business will have the technology to enhance their operations.

Other area projects include:

• Minnesota Valley Telephone Company (MVTC) – Rural Franklin Fiber Project – grant $226,800. Total eligible project cost is $648,000. Local match is $421,200. This middle and last mile project will serve approximately 45 unserved locations in Franklin and the townships of Sherman, Eden, Camp and Birch Cooley in Redwood, Renville and Brown counties. In a funding partnership with the state, Minnesota Valley Telephone Company will offer broadband services at 1 Gbps symmetrical (upstream and downstream), promoting rural economic development within the project area. The fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) project will transform these unserved areas into highly productive rural communities, opening doors to advancements such as precision agriculture, and will empower the area by providing the opportunity to be proficient users of broadband technology.

• Winthrop Telephone Company, Inc. – Bismarck & Transit Township FTTP Project – grant $716,000. Total eligible project cost is $1,790,000. Local match is $1,074,000.

This last mile project will serve 148 unserved and six underserved locations, including homes, businesses and farms, in Bismarck, Transit and Round Grove townships in Sibley and McLeod counties. Through a funding partnership with the state, Winthrop Telephone Company will offer broadband services at 1 Gbps symmetrical (upstream and downstream), exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. This project will promote rural economic development and transform these unserved areas into highly productive rural communities.

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