Minnesota makes $54 million investment to improve rural broadband

Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 7:52 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced Thursday funding for broadband projects across the state.

DEED gave out over $20 million in grants to improve broadband service in rural communities throughout the state. Many companies receiving grants talked about what they will be doing with the funds.

“This is going to bring fiber optics, dedicated fiber optics, to 540 locations where we are going to be able to offer gigabyte speeds. We will be beginning construction on that this spring when the snow melts,” said Bill Eckles, president of Blue Earth Valley Communications Inc., or BEVCOMM.

BEVCOMM, which services several areas across rural Minnesota, has roughly 40% of their current project funded by this grant.

Mediacom Group Vice President Bill Jensen says the grant allows them to reach areas that were previously not cost-effective.

”I know all of us, as recipients for the Broadband Grant Program, understand the responsibilities that we have, especially when we are receiving state and taxpayer dollars. We don’t take it lightly,” added Jensen.

Gov. Tim Walz’s office announced Thursday that more than $54 million is going to go into broadband infrastructure across the state.

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