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Broadband Grant Program

Office of Broadband Development

The Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program funds the expansion of broadband service to areas of Minnesota that are unserved or underserved.

Overview

The Border to Border Broadband Development Grant Program was created in statute (116J.395) in 2014. The legislative focus of this grant program is to provide state resources that help make the financial case for new and existing providers to invest in building broadband infrastructure into unserved and underserved areas of the state. The Legislature passed funding each year, with $20 million appropriated in 2014; $10.588 million in 2015; $35 million in 2016 and $20 million in 2017. (Funding of $15 million was included in a 990 page omnibus bill in 2018, however, that bill was vetoed by the governor.)

The grants can provide up to 50 percent of a project’s infrastructure costs (project planning, permits, construction plant and labor, installation and testing, engineering, etc.). The maximum grant amount is $5 million. The smallest project awarded funded the deployment of broadband infrastructure to 12 locations and the largest projects have funded deployment to thousands of locations. Grants are awarded through a competitive grant application process. In each year that the grant program has been offered, applications have exceeded the available funding.

The tabs below direct you to additional information on the Border to Border Broadband Grant Program for the previous grant rounds. The "Applications" and "Challenge Process" tabs provide more information on the application and challenge process for 2017, the most recent year that the grant program was offered. If the grant program is funded in 2019, it is possible that there may be legislative changes made to the program that would affect the application and challenge process. Please continue to visit this page of the Office of Broadband Development website to stay up-to-date. If you are interested in applying for a Border to Border Broadband Grant for your community, you may wish to contact your state legislators to let them know of your broadband situation and interest in this grant program.

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