DEED to award over $20M in grants for broadband development program

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will award more than $20 million in broadband development grants this year, Gov. Tim Walz’s office announced Thursday.

The $20.6 million in grants will be split between 39 projects as part of the sixth year of the state’s Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant program. Walz’s office said local funding will provide nearly $33.7 million toward the program, making the total investment more than $54.3 million.

"The pandemic this past year has made it crystal clear that fast, reliable broadband access is critical for people living in Greater Minnesota – for everything from education and health care to business operations and telecommuting," Walz said. "These grants continue this vitally important work toward our goal of ensuring that every Minnesotan has high-speed internet access by 2022."

"Connection is foundational for communities to thrive. These grants will go to help Minnesotans get critical access to broadband," Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan added. "Now more than ever, we need to make sure Minnesotans have access to high-quality broadband to help our communities thrive, businesses survive, and students learn."

The program works to bring high-quality broadband access to underserved and unserved areas of the state, primarily in Greater Minnesota.

Walz’s office said the funding will help provide reliable internet access for 6,922 businesses, homes and community anchor institutions, and more than 56,800 homes and businesses have been aided by the program since 2014.

You can see the list of grant recipients online.