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Rural broadband grants awarded in Lac qui Parle, Pope counties

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Rural broadband projects in Lac qui Parle and Pope counties have received funds from the border-to-border grant program of the Minnesota Office of Broadband Development.

The grant awards were announced this week.

The Minnesota Legislature appropriated $20 million this year to support the enhancement of broadband availability in rural areas of the state that are unserved or underserved.

Farmers Mutual Telephone was awarded $760,501 to bring broadband to the city of Watson and to rural areas in southwestern Lac qui Parle County. This "last mile" project will reach 136 unserved households, 15 unserved businesses and five community anchor institutions.

The total project cost is $1.5 million, with $791,542 in local matching funds.

Hanson Communications received a $4.9 million grant for a fiber-to-the-premises project in unserved and underserved locations in Pope County. The project area includes 742 households, 716 businesses and 11 community institutions.

Total project cost is $11.4 million with a local match of $6.4 million.

In all, the border-to-border program awarded $26 million for 39 broadband infrastructure projects across Minnesota.