Blue Earth County takes steps to improve broadband Internet access

Blue Earth County takes steps to improve broadband Internet access

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Broadband Internet access is necessary for a variety of practices from online education and telehealth to even farming.

But not everyone in Blue Earth County is connected.

That’s what Blue Earth County confirmed when it approached Finley Engineering and CCG Consulting to conduct a feasibility study of broadband Internet speeds, according to Christopher Konechne, a Project Engineer with Finley Engineering.

“A lot of the rural portions of the county outside of the Mankato area and suburbs really don’t have access to quality, high-speed broadband," Konechne said.

According to the study and Blue Earth County I.T. Director Carri Harvey, achieving broadband access goals could cost $35 million.

Blue Earth County is now working with Internet service providers in hopes that they will apply for grant funding as soon as this year to help achieve those goals.

“So, we’re hopeful that we’ll see some success with that, and we’re hopeful for any ISP that wants to work with us," Harvey said.

The county is currently working with five ISPs in hopes that they will apply for grant funding from programs like the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program, which funds the expansion of broadband services.

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