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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 Minn. Stat. 116J.395 in 2014. The legislative focus of this grant program is to provide financial resources that help make the business case for new and existing providers to invest in building broadband infrastructure into unserved and underserved areas of the state. The Border-to-Border Broadband Grant Program had historically been funded with state general fund revenues. State funding enabled OBD to open the grant application period within 30 days of the appropriation being authorized. In the 2021 Special Session, the legislature directed that for FY22 and FY23, the grant program will be funded at $70 million and with federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Sec. 604 Capital Projects Funds. ARPA is being administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury). Treasury issued guidance on how the funding can be accessed and used on September 20, 2021. DEED is in the process of complying with that guidance, which includes submitting an application for funding, entering a grant agreement with Treasury, and submitting a Grant Plan and one or more Program Plans to Treasury for approval.

In anticipation of receiving authorization from Treasury of a Program Plan that will use the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program as the means to award funding for broadband infrastructure, DEED is posting the scoring criteria for the FY22 grant round. State law requires that the scoring criteria be posted at least 30 days prior to opening the grant application window. By posting the scoring criteria now, DEED can be ready to open the grant application window immediately upon receiving the necessary approvals from Treasury.

OBD intends to follow state law guidelines for the Border-to-Border Broadband Grant Program, while building in any measures necessary to comply with federal requirements associated with use of the Capital Projects Fund for the FY22 grant round. If you are not familiar with the state grant program, you may want to review the information below and in the Awards tabs until information specific to the FY22 grant round can be posted (application, frequently asked questions, challenge process, etc.).

The 2020 Awards tab below directs you to information for the awards from the 2020 (FY21) grant round. The remaining four tabs provide information on the grants awarded during the first five years the program was offered (2014-2017, 2019).

Please continue to visit this page of the Office of Broadband Development website to stay up-to-date on the Border to Border Broadband Infrastructure grant program.

OBD has also prepared a Grant Application Template for communities to use as a resource if they are considering using Local Fiscal Recovery Funds from the American Rescue Plan Act for broadband infrastructure.

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