Wednesday | February 17, 2021

Grant will allow for fiber to unserved and underserved rural areas of southern Fillmore County in Minnesota

Harmony, Minn. (8 a.m. Feb. 17, 2021) — Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced MiBroadband, LLC as a recipient of a Border-to-Border Grant totaling $1.1 million.

MiEnergy Cooperative, an electric distribution cooperative serving southeastern Minnesota and northeastern Iowa, is an owner of MiBroadband along with two telephone cooperatives, Mabel Cooperative Telephone Company and Spring Grove Communications.

The grant program is a partnership between the State of Minnesota, City of Preston and Fillmore County. 

MiBroadband will use the $1.1 million grant and $2.2 million local match to service 231 unserved and 26 underserved locations in the rural areas of southern Fillmore County. It will improve speeds to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload on a fiber network, exceeding the state’s 2022 and 2026 speed goals. 

Brian Krambeer, president/CEO of MiEnergy, says MiBroadband received over 100 letters of support for the project from households, businesses and farms who are within the geographical area of the fiber project.

“The pandemic has shown us that broadband service is critical for rural areas,” says Krambeer. “The Border-to-Border grant and partnership with the State of Minnesota, Fillmore County and City of Preston helps make providing fiber to this area feasible.”

MiBroadband was one of 39 recipients of DEED’s Border-to-Border Grant Program, which announced over $20.6 million in grants on January 28 during a virtual press conference. 

The company plans to break ground mid-summer to late fall.

my broadband logo, mi with wireless symbol