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Finley Clients Win Border-to-Border Grants

November 27, 2017 By Molly White in

Congratulations to our clients who collectively will receive nearly one third of the Minnesota Border-to-Border Grants! Finley Engineering’s Minnesota office worked with Hanson Communications, New Ulm Telecom, Sjoberg’s Inc., Wikstrom Telephone, and Woodstock Telephone Company to submit grant applications.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will award two-year grants totaling $26,475,556 to 39 projects in the fourth year of the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant program. State grant dollars are matched by $34,247,590 in local funds, for a total investment in broadband infrastructure of $60,723,146.

Clients and project information Finley assisted with are listed below. We are pleased to celebrate these awards as we collectively work to further expand broadband service in rural Minnesota.

Hanson Communications – Minnewaska Area FTTP – GRANT $4,996,791

This Fiber-to-the-Premise project will serve unserved and underserved locations in Pope County, including: 274 unserved households and 535 unserved businesses; and 468 underserved households and 181 underserved businesses and 11 underserved community institution. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Hanson Communications will improve broadband service levels to 1Gbps down and 1Gbps up for rural subscribers in the Starbuck Exchange and the Lake Minnewaska Area in west central Minnesota, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. Hanson worked together with Pope County officials to identify those areas in the rural portions of the county receiving less than sufficient broadband services.  The primary customers will be residential customers and traditional family-owned farms, all to be served by reliable, affordable, high quality broadband to improve community and economic development opportunities.

Total eligible cost is $11,460,530                               Local match is $6,463,739

New Ulm Telecom, Inc. – Hanska A&D FTTP – GRANT $324,894

This last mile project will serve 9 unserved households and 38 unserved businesses in the Hanska area south of New Ulm near the border of Brown and Watonwan Counties. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, New Ulm Telecom, Inc. will improve broadband service levels to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. This Fiber-to-the-Premises network will provide reliable, affordable, high quality broadband to rural farms, businesses, and homes. Broadband access will enable these businesses and residences to use new technology and tools to grow and enhance their business and community, including increased access to health care and education.

Total eligible cost is $721,988                                     Local match is $397,094

New Ulm Telecom, Inc. – White Rock Rural East FTTP – GRANT $411,704

This last mile project will serve 22 unserved households and 88 unserved businesses in the White Rock area in the northern half of Goodhue County in southeastern Minnesota. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, New Ulm Telecom, Inc. will improve broadband service levels to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. This Fiber-to-the-Premises network will provide reliable, affordable, high quality broadband to rural farms, businesses, and homes. Broadband access will enable these businesses and residences to utilize new technology and tools to grow and enhance their business and community, including increased access to health care and education.

Total eligible cost is $914,898                                     Local match is $503,194

Sjoberg’s Inc. – NW MN Rural Broadband – GRANT $307,088

This last mile project will serve 98 unserved households, 10 unserved businesses, and 3 community anchor institutions in a large area west of Thief River Falls in Pennington County in northwestern Minnesota. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Sjoberg’s Inc. will improve broadband service levels to 1 Gbps down and up. This project will leverage investments made by Sjoberg’s and by ARRA/RUS grant/loan programs from earlier years and will finish out earlier state broadband grant projects, to complete Norden Township and a substantial portion of the unserved areas of Sanders and Rocksbury Townships.  It will also support plans by DigiKey in Thief River Falls to add 1000 new employees. These employees are going to be knowledge workers, who will need access to advanced in-home broadband services for their jobs and for general quality of life in remote NW Minnesota.

Total eligible cost is $614,176                     Local match is $307,088

Wikstrom Telephone – Wiktel NW MN Broadband – GRANT $1,307,785

This project will serve rural sparsely populated areas in Kittson, Marshall, and Roseau counties in far northwestern Minnesota, passing 300 unserved homes and 31 unserved business locations.  In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Wikstrom will improve broadband services levels to 1 Gbps down and up, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal, on a fiber optic network, and in some locations will extend the service from routes built via the 2016 Border to Border State Grant program. The broadband improvements will foster opportunities in economic development, successful education services for children and adults alike, and allow for critical home health care monitoring in this remote area.

Total eligible costs is $2,906,189                               Local match of $1,598,404

Woodstock Telephone Company – Balaton FTTP – GRANT $413,009

This last mile project will serve 305 underserved households, 28 underserved businesses, and 6 underserved community anchor institutions in the city of Balaton in Lyon County in southwestern Minnesota. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Woodstock will improve broadband service levels to 1 Gbps down and 1 Gbps up, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. Woodstock has received many requests for service in the City of Balaton and is already providing service to a few businesses. Building a Fiber to the Premise network will improve access to education and healthcare services. It will also increase employment as businesses leverage this new network and telecommuting opportunities become accessible, strengthening and expanding rural community and economic vitality.

 Total project cost is $1,424,169                 Local match is $1,011,160

 

Woodstock Telephone Company – Pipestone County Wireless – GRANT $363,851

This middle mile project expands the reach of fixed wireless service to serve 135 unserved households, 540 unserved businesses, and 1 unserved community anchor institution in rural Pipestone County in southwestern Minnesota. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Woodstock will improve unserved levels to a minimum of 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload with higher speeds of 75Mbps/25Mbps and above where available. These speeds exceed the 2022 state speed goal. Woodstock has received many requests for service in the county and is already providing service to locations where they have existing fiber and wireless infrastructure available. Building a reliable high speed fixed wireless network with fiber backhaul will improve access to education and healthcare services and increase employment opportunities as businesses leverage this new network, strengthening and expanding rural community and economic vitality.

Total project cost is $727,703                      Local match is $363,852

 

Source: https://mn.gov/deed/programs-services/broadband/grant-program/