ST. PAUL, MN—Assistant Majority Leader Rep. Dave Baker, R-Willmar, 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."
"Expanding broadband to the areas that need it most will mean more opportunities for families here in Greater Minnesota," Baker said. "I will keep pushing hard to build on our broadband investments next session and make sure we're able to bring the countless benefits of broadband to even more parts of the state."
Baker encouraged anyone with questions, or anyone who would like assistance with their application or a letter of support for their project to contact his office by calling 651-296-6206 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org