Minnesota announces additional $50 million in funds for broadband internet access

Courtesy: Minnesota Department of Economic Development
Courtesy: Minnesota Department of Economic Development

(St. Paul, MN) -- Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) says they are releasing a total of $50 in funds to provide high-speed internet to homes and businesses within the state.

The funds are expected to be split between the Border-to-Border Broadband program ($30 million) and the Low Population Density Program ($20 million). The programs offers paybacks on up to half of the eligible costs of broadband infrastructure and looks to place broadband in low population areas. The broadband access provided through these programs must offer services of at least 100 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 20 Mbps upload. 

"Broadband is an absolute necessity for Minnesotans looking to connect online with employers, customers, schools, doctors, government services, social networks – frankly, anything at all," said DEED Commissioner Matt Varilek. "Our broadband grant programs continue to deliver this economic and social imperative to more Minnesota homes and businesses every year. We’re excited to launch another round of high-impact grants today.” 

An additional $50 million in funds is expected to be released in 2024 by DEED to fund additional broadband projects.

The funds are the latest in distributions from the State of Minnesota for broadband expansion, as they have previously announced $100 million in 2022 of state grants in late 2022, $67 million dollars of state grants and $650 million of Federal Grants in June of 2023. Businesses can submit RFP's or RFA's for some of the Border-to-Border Broadband Program and Population Density Program funds by clicking here.

Minnesota's DEED is also finalizing the state's Digital Opportunity Plan, which they say will fill gaps in broadband access, digital skills, and tech ownership with an upcoming grant from the federal government.