Areas around Crookston have good broadband, or not

    A broadband development meeting, part of a series of similar meetings being held around the state, was held Tuesday in Bede Ballroom to discuss how the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development's (DEED) Office of Broadband Development can help improve broadband within the rural areas of Minnesota.    

    The purpose of this $20 million border-to-border grant is to provide financial assistance for the acquisition and installment of middle-mile and last-mile broadband infrastructure to areas of the state that do not have wireless access at federal and state minimum standard speeds. The grant funds are meant to help areas that are un- or under-served when it comes to state goal speeds for uploading and downloading content to and from the Internet.    

    A map of the northwest region of Minnesota indicated the full range of broadband service in Polk County, from areas around Crookston that are considered "served," as well as areas in the county that are considered under-served and unserved.   

    In order to receive grant monies, technology must be scalable to at least 100 megabytes up/ down; grants will be geographically dispersed, and all invoiced work must be completed by December 31, 2016. The application period, once started, is only open for 30 days, with the target to make awards available in late December. Eligibility is awarded to the following: an incorporated business or partnership, a political subdivision, an Indian tribe, a Minnesota nonprofit organized under 317A, a Minnesota cooperative organized under 308A or 308B and/ or a Minnesota limited liability corporation organized under 322B for the purpose of expanding broadband access.