|1/30/2020 3:10:00 PM|
Broadband grant coming to Nessel Twp.
One broadband Internet enhancement grant was awarded within Chisago County, in the latest round of funding. There were three townships that applied and the Border to Border program awarded $1,657,550 to Nessel Township, which the township application states is about one-quarter of the total local project costs.
Franconia and Chisago Lake townships did not win funding through the program.
CenturyLink is working with Nessel Township.
There are 64 unserved locations in the service corridor. When Nessel is done, the Internet service through CenturyLink will exceed state-adopted broadband speed goals for 2022 and set for 2026.
Nessel, like all the townships in Minnesota, holds its annual meeting the second Tuesday in March. This broadband investment will surely be a subject of discussion on the agenda. There will be some level of “matching” money required to utilize this grant.
Altogether, the state received 80 seperate grant applications and only had enough funds to award 30 projects. The legislature set aside $40 million for 2020 and 2021 and about $20 million was awarded this year.
Border to Border broadband grants are run through the Department of Employment and Eonomic Development with funds earmarked by the state legislature. This is the fifth year of the program.
Border-to-Border Broadband grants are targeted to greater Minnesota where broadband (Internet) infrastructure is not at the level it needs to be for “economic equity.”
Readers will recall Fish Lake Township won a 2017 grant (there were no grants for 2018) of $1.8 million.
The Governor’s office explains that the state goal for 2022 on download and upload speeds at 25 megabits download minimum and three megabits per second uploading, to be available to all of Minnesota. These grow for 2026 mandating download speed of 100 megabits per second and 20 megabits per second upload, available through at least one provider.
In Washington County, MidCo also was awarded $510,358 for broadband speed and capacity enhancements for Scandia, This project is meant to serve 64 households with no available service and 155 “underserved” locations, according to the program press release.