ST. PAUL, MN—Assistant Majority Leader Rep. Ron Kresha, R-Little Falls, is encouraging cities, counties, businesses, non-profits, and other eligible applicants to consider applying for a grant to continue the expansion of Minnesota's broadband infrastructure. Applications must be received by 4:00PM on September 15, 2015. The grants are available as a part of $10.58 million for the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program approved by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Dayton in June.
Eligible applicants include incorporated businesses or partnerships, political subdivisions, Indian tribes, Minnesota non-profits, cooperative associations and limited liability corporations. Broadband projects must be located in unserved or underserved areas. According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) website, an unserved area "is an area of Minnesota in which households or businesses lack access to wire-line broadband service at speeds that meet the FCC threshold of 25 megabits per second download and 3 megabits per second upload." An underserved area "is an area of Minnesota in which households or businesses do receive service above the FCC threshold but lack access to wire-line broadband service at speeds that meet the state broadband goals of ten to 20 megabits per second download and five to ten megabits per second upload."
"Broadband is a critical part of enhancing economic development in Greater Minnesota," Kresha said. "Broadband technology will mean more job opportunities, faster access to information for students and teachers, and more flexibility for workers to telecommute and work remotely no matter what part of the state they live in. I hope we can build on these investments next year and make sure communities across Minnesota have reliable internet access in their schools, homes, and businesses."
Kresha encouraged anyone with questions or who would like assistance with their application or a letter of support to contact his office by calling 651-296-4247 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.