ST. PAUL — Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin, encourages area cities, counties, businesses, non-profits, and other eligible applicants to apply for a grant to continue the expansion of Minnesota's broadband infrastructure.
The grants are available as a part of a $10.58 million Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program approved by the Legislature and enacted this year. Applications must be submitted by Sept. 15.
Eligible applicants include incorporated businesses or partnerships, political subdivisions, Native-American tribes, Minnesota non-profits, cooperative associations and limited liability corporations. Broadband projects must be located in unserved or underserved areas.
"We recognize our part of Minnesota is greatly underserved by broadband service," Lueck said. "This program is intended to close that gap and bring us up to the kind of Internet standards other parts of the state have come to expect. Slow connection speeds hinder more than just our ability to check emails or browse Facebook. Improving broadband access would help local school kids do their homework, assist our businesses as they compete in a global economy and a whole lot more. It would be nice to see some applicants awarded in our area."
Full details regarding program qualifications and application materials can be found by visiting the Minnesota Dept. of Employment and Economic Development website (www.mn.gov/deed) and entering "broadband grant" in the home page's search field.