Project in Kertsonville Township totals just under $1 million.

    Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith and Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Shawntera Hardy  on Wednesday announced the recipients of 42 grants (totaling $34 million) to expand access to high-speed Internet in greater Minnesota. Several grants were awarded to initiatives in Polk County and northwestern Minnesota.


    The grants will provide 16,627 households, 2,240 businesses, and 71 community institutions across Minnesota access to reliable, affordable high-speed Internet. The new state funding will help level the playing field for families, students, and businesses in Greater Minnesota by providing them access the same opportunities available to urban area residents.


    It's the latest chapter in one of Gov. Mark Dayton's top priorities for his final term in office. More than $66 million in broadband funding since 2014 has helped expand access statewide.

Who's getting what in our area

    • CenturyLink, Thief River Middle Mile – $1.32 million. The project will serve 491 unserved households and 118 unserved businesses in an area from Thief River to Roseau. CenturyLink will provide improved services that will encourage business development and increase access to education and health care in the region. The total eligible project cost is $2.65 million, with $1.3 million local match.


     • Garden Valley Telephone Co., Rural Thief River Falls East – $2.03 million. The project will serve 330 unserved households, 23 unserved businesses and 2 community anchor institutions in rural Thief River Falls. Garden Valley Telephone will upgrade broadband services that will improve economic and community vitality. The total eligible project cost is $4.2 million, with a $2.2 million local match.


     • Halstad Telephone Co., Kertsonville Area – $296,665. The project will serve 51 unserved households in Kertsonville and Onstad townships in Polk County. Halstad Telephone Co. will improve service levels that benefit farmers, home businesses and residents. The total eligible project cost is $593,330, with a $296,665 local match.


     • Sjoberg’s Inc., Roseau and Lake of the Woods Counties – $354,740. The project will serve 126 unserved households, 30 unserved businesses and one community anchor institution in several areas of Roseau and Lake of the Woods counties. The project will improve community well-being and encourage job growth and business expansion. The total eligible project cost is $709,481, with a $354,740 local match.


     • Wikstrom Telephone Co. (with Beamco Inc.), Rural Alvarado – $43,481. The project will serve 11 unserved households and 1 unserved business in the Alvarado area, in a remote part of Marshall County. The telephone company and Beamco Inc., a local engineering and manufacturing company, are partnering to improve services in the area. The project will enable Beamco to reach its suppliers and customers in the U.S., Canada, Europe and China. The total eligible project cost is $86,963, with a $43,482 local match.


     • Wikstrom Telephone Co., Wiktel NW MN – $950,823. This project will serve 236 unserved households and 26 unserved businesses in sparsely populated areas of Kittson, Marshall, Roseau and Lake of the Woods counties. The project will provide improved service that encourages job growth and business expansion in the region. The total eligible project cost is $2.11 million, with a $1.16 million local match.