Broadband Grant Applications Sought

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Broadband Grant Applications Sought

September 11, 2015

Minnesota’s Office of Broadband Development is accepting applications for the next round of Border-to-Border Broadband infrastructure grants through Tuesday, Sept. 15. This marks the second year of the program’s operation following a successful first round of grants that will extend high-speed Internet service to approximately 6,000 homes, hundreds of businesses and scores of community anchor institutions such as schools, hospitals and libraries. The 'Expression of Interest' window is open until Oct. 1.

"The first round of the Border-to-Border Broadband fund was met with great enthusiasm and interest, attracting dozens of high-caliber applications from around the state," said Matt Schmit, State Senator, District 21. "The fund’s success is testament to the tireless work and advocacy of countless stakeholders throughout Minnesota, and the continued success of the grant program is essential to ensuring that all communities, homes, and businesses have access to high-speed Internet for economic competitiveness and quality of life."

Despite the grant program’s initial success, the modest funding for round two has been discouraging to many applicants, Schmitt continued. "The Office of Broadband is also calling for expressions of interest from potential future applicants that may not apply for round two funding but are interested in broadband infrastructure assistance in a more robust third or fourth round of funding. Rather than sit out round two entirely, applicants are encouraged to submit expressions of interest. Although Minnesotans across the state recognize the vital nature of broadband access, it’s incredibly important for policymakers to hear from potential applicants."

More information on the grant program and expression of interest process can be found at: http://mn.gov/deed/programs-services/broadband/grant-program or http://mn.gov/deed/programs-services/broadband/grant-program/bbinterest.jsp.

For questions on the application process, contact DEED’s Office of Broadband Development at (651) 259-7610 or deed.broadband@state.mn.us or Sen. Schmitt's office at (651) 296-4264 or sen.matt.schmit@senate.mn.

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