Gov. Walz announces largest-ever investment in broadband access across Minnesota

(ABC 6 News) – Governor Tim Walz announced on Thursday that internet providers will receive nearly $100 million to expand broadband high-speed internet coverage to over 33,000 homes and businesses in 48 counties.

It’ll be the largest-single investment in broadband infrastructure in state history, according to Walz.

In total, 61 broadband expansion projects around Minnesota will receive $99.6 million in grants from the Border-to-Border Broadband program administered by the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)’s Office of Broadband Development.

The investment includes funding primarily from two sources – half of a $50 million appropriation from the state Legislature signed into law this year by Governor Walz, and $70 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan. 

“This historic funding will dramatically improve broadband access for thousands of Minnesotans,” said Governor Walz. “Broadband connects students to new educational opportunities, provides workers with more flexibility, expands access to healthcare resources and information, and helps us stay connected to the people who matter most. This investment is essential to making Minnesota the best state to live, work, and raise a family – no matter where you live.”

The grant maximum is $5 million per project, and grant funds may be used to reimburse up to 50% of a grantee’s eligible costs of deploying broadband infrastructure. Projects must meet or exceed the State’s 2026 broadband speed goal of 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload.

The list of Border-to-Border Grantees of counties in southeast Minnesota is below:

  • Fillmore: Harmony Telephone Company – $1,129,740.
  • Dodge: Kasson & Mantorville Telephone Company – $1,498,115.
  • Olmsted: Kasson & Mantorville Telephone Company – $1,620,007.

More information about the project can be found, HERE.