Broadband Infrastructure Programs.
Spring Short Course 2023 Powerpoint from DEED Office of Broadband Development "How You Can Engage"
Townships' Advocacy Impact on display at Hearing of Broadband Budget at MN Senate Ag, Broadband, and Rural Dev Committee
Around 100 township officers attended a Day at the Capitol on February 1, 2023. Several Senators held constituent advocacy meetings with their town officers, including most members of the Senate Agriculture, Broadband, and Rural Development committee. Later that day, Governor Tim Walz’s broadband budget was presented by Bree Maki, Director of the Office of Broadband Development. Maki also stated that the Association of Minnesota Townships staff Steve Fenske is working hard to find information for the policymakers. The committee was supportive of the Border-to-Border broadband program. They mentioned being able to speak with townships folks raising the priority of broadband needs.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced a new broadband program through Broadband USA – the FY 2021 Broadband Infrastructure Program. The purpose of this program is to assist in the deployment of broadband infrastructure through support for competitively and technologically neutral projects that involve the deployment of fixed broadband service that provides qualifying broadband service in eligible service areas. An eligible service area is defined as a census block in which broadband service with a 25 megabits per section (mbps) download speed and 3 mbps upload speed is not available at one or more households or businesses in the census block, as determined by the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information.
Eligible applicants are partnerships between a state or local government and a fixed broadband service provider. In FY 2021, up to $288 million is available to support awards expected to range from $5 million to $30 million through this program. There are no stated matching requirements for this program; however, favorable consideration will be given to applications that propose to contribute at least a 10 percent match via nonfederal cash or in-kind contributions.
Applications are due August 17, 2021.