DEED Announces Next Round of Historic Broadband Expansion Funding
RFP process will award $67.6 million to broadband expansion projects across Minnesota
December 20, 2022
St. Paul – Building on this month’s historic Border-to-Border broadband grant announcement, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) today launched a Request for Proposals (RFP) to award $67.6 million in broadband grants across the state.
This new grant round comprises $25 million in state funding and $42.6 million from the federal government. It further accelerates the Border-to-Border program in pursuit of Minnesota’s 2026 goal that all homes and businesses have access to broadband with download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second and upload speeds of at least 20 megabits per second.
Eligible broadband providers can use grant funding to reimburse up to half the cost of broadband infrastructure deployed. Funding for a single project is capped at $5 million. Applications must be received by March 2, 2023. Grants will be awarded in early summer.
“Broadband access and adoption are critical for workers, education, healthcare and our business community,” said DEED Deputy Commissioner Kevin McKinnon. “We are working hard to provide this resource across the state and to all Minnesotans.”
On December 8, 2022, Governor Walz announced $99.6 million in broadband grants for 61 projects in 48 counties, expected to connect to more than 33,000 Minnesota homes and businesses to high-speed broadband. It was the largest single investment in broadband in Minnesota history; before then, DEED had awarded nearly $130 million in Border-to-Border grants to connect more than 57,000 homes and businesses around Minnesota to high-speed broadband since the program’s inception in 2014.
“Public-private partnerships like the Border-to-Border program are a proven, effective way to make high-speed, high-quality broadband available to more Minnesotans,” said Bree Maki, Executive Director of DEED’s Office of Broadband Development. “Earlier this month we awarded grants to dozens of projects to benefit 33,000 Minnesota homes and business, and this new grant round will further extend that impact.”
Requirements and application materials for this competitive grant program are available on DEED’s website.
DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website, the JoinUsMn.com website, or follow us on Twitter.