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Kresha wants applicants for state broadband grants

Assistant Majority Leader Rep. Ron Kresha, R-Little Falls and Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin, are encouraging cities, counties, businesses, nonprofits, and other eligible applicants to consider applying for a grant to continue the expansion of Minneso...

Assistant Majority Leader Rep. Ron Kresha, R-Little Falls and Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin, are encouraging cities, counties, businesses, nonprofits, and other eligible applicants to consider applying for a grant to continue the expansion of Minnesota's broadband infrastructure.

Applications must be received by 4 p.m. on Sept. 15. The grants are available as a part of $10.58 million for the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program approved by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton in June.

Eligible applicants include incorporated businesses or partnerships, political subdivisions, Indian tribes, Minnesota nonprofits, cooperative associations and limited liability corporations. Broadband projects must be located in unserved or underserved areas. According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, an unserved area "is an area of Minnesota in which households or businesses lack access to wire-line broadband service at speeds that meet the FCC threshold of 25 megabits per second download and 3 megabits per second upload."

An underserved area "is an area of Minnesota in which households or businesses do receive service above the FCC threshold but lack access to wire-line broadband service at speeds that meet the state broadband goals of 10 to 20 megabits per second download and five to 10 megabits per second upload."

"Broadband is a critical part of enhancing economic development in Greater Minnesota," Kresha said in a release. "I hope we can build on these investments next year and make sure communities across Minnesota have reliable internet access in their schools, homes, and businesses."

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Lueck also said the grants would help develop areas outside of the Twin Cities metro.

"We recognize our part of Minnesota is greatly underserved by broadband service," Lueck said. "This program is intended to close that gap and bring us up to the kind of Internet standards other parts of the state have come to expect."

Visit DEED's website at mn.gov/deed/programs-services/broadband/grant-program/ for full details and application materials.

Kresha encouraged anyone with questions or who would like assistance with their application or a letter of support to contact his office by calling 651-296-4247 or emailing rep.ron.kresha@house.mn .

Lueck likewise encouraged constituents to call him with any questions on the grants at 651-296-2365 or email him at rep.dale.lueck@house.mn .

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