$35 Million in Broadband Funding Available

DEED Header

For Immediate Release
July 1, 2016
Contact: Monte Hanson, 651-259-7149
[email protected]

~DEED will begin taking applications on July 22~

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will begin taking applications on July 22 for funding to expand broadband infrastructure in Minnesota.

The $35 million in funding, which was approved during the 2016 legislative session, goes into effect with the beginning of the 2017 fiscal year today. DEED will award grants through its Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program to pay for up to 50 percent of project development costs in unserved and underserved areas of the state. A maximum of $5 million per grant will be available.

Officials estimate that an additional 12,000 Minnesota households will receive high-speed internet once the projects are completed.

“Broadband isn’t nice, it’s necessary if we want Minnesota’s economy to work for everyone, everywhere in the state,” said Lt. Gov. Tina Smith. “This new investment will connect small businesses to customers, students to learning opportunities, and patients to their doctors. This is an important investment, but we have a long way to go before we achieve the governor’s goal of border-to-border broadband internet access. Next legislative session we need to build on this progress so that all Minnesotans have access to the basic infrastructure of the 21st century.”

“Broadband is an important economic development tool,” added DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “Communities that have strong broadband systems in place are more likely to attract new residents and businesses.”

The new round of funding brings the state’s total investment since the Border–to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program was created in May 2014 to $65.4 million. DEED awarded $19.4 million to 17 broadband projects in Minnesota last February and another $11 million for 15 Minnesota projects in November. Gov. Mark Dayton had requested $100 million from the Legislature in the latest funding round.

Under the new funding, $5 million will be targeted for underserved areas of the state and $500,000 for projects that propose to expand the availability and adoption of broadband service to areas that contain a significant proportion of low-income households.

DEED will accept applications for the new funding through Oct. 3. More details about the program and the process for applying are available here on the DEED 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 our services, visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.

Upon request, the information in this news release can be made available in alternative
formats for people with disabilities by contacting the DEED Communications Office at 651-259-7161.

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
Communications Office
Phone 651-259-7149 or 1-800-657-3858 ∙ TTY 1-800-657-3973
An equal opportunity employer and service provider.

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Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Releases Annual Report

Report contains policy recommendations,
including $200 million for the Border-to-Border Broadband Grant Program and updated speed goals

February 3, 2016

The Governor’s Task Force on Broadband released its 2016 Annual Report today, which includes recommendations for Governor Dayton, the legislature, and other policy makers to consider in the 2016 Legislative Session.

The recommendations outlined in the report are aimed at ensuring every Minnesotan has access to broadband, and include $200 million in funding for the Border-to-Border Broadband Grand Development Program and an update to the state’s outdated speed goals.

The full report can be found here.

[Read more…]

RFP Released for Minneapolis Community Technology Survey

INVITATION: The City of Minneapolis Information Technology (IT) Department is soliciting proposals from qualified consultants for professional surveying services to plan and conduct a series of surveys of Minneapolis residents regarding computer and internet use. The surveys are referred to as the Minneapolis Community Technology Surveys and are primarily used to determine the state of the digital divide in Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis IT Department has conducted a Community Technology Survey in 2012, 2013, and 2014 and would like to continue the survey over the next several years to measure changes in the community over time.

IT is seeking proposals from a variety of research organizations to evaluate current professional research options and opportunities within the surveying industry as part of the extended commitment to this project.  The desired contract period will be up to six (6) years to conduct up to three (3) resident surveys.

The RFP is open August 27 through September 25, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. RFP: Community Technology Survey posted at www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/finance/procurement/rfp