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ROSEAU, MN—Rep. Dan Fabian, R-Roseau, issued the following statement regarding last week's announcement from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development of 39 broadband grants totaling more than $26 million to bring broadband access to unserved and underserved parts of the state. Some grants leveraged funding from the Connect America Funding (CAF) from the federal government, helping stretch funding from the state.
According to a press release from DEED, two grants were awarded to expand broadband access in District 01A, which covers all of Kittson, Marshall, Roseau Counties, and part of Pennington County.
Wikstrom Telephone will receive a grant for $1,307,785 that will expand broadband access to 300 unserved homes and 31 unserved businesses in sparsely populated parts of Kittson, Marshall, and Roseau counties. According to DEED, the grant will "foster opportunities in economic development, successful education services for children and adults alike, and allow for critical home health care monitoring[.]"
A second grant awarded to Sjoberg's Inc. for $307,888 will expand broadband access to 98 unserved households, 10 unserved businesses, and 3 community anchor institutions west of Thief River Falls in Pennington County, and will support the DigiKey expansion project in Thief River Falls.
“Broadband is a critical lifeline for schools, businesses, and families in rural areas," Rep. Fabian said. "This is another positive step forward to ensure our communities have the tools they need to foster economic development, harness the power of technology in our schools, and connect families with the same opportunities they would have in other parts of the state. I want to thank everyone who played a part in securing these grants and for their work to expand broadband access in Northwest Minnesota."
The Republican-led Legislature approved $20 million in grants for the Border-to-Border Broadband program during the 2017 legislative session.
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