[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced $67 million in state grants for internet providers to expand broadband coverage to tens of thousands of Minnesotans, furthering the administration’s commitment to providing high-speed broadband for all Minnesotans. The announcement comes days after the federal government announced a $652 million investment in Minnesota’s broadband infrastructure.
“There is extraordinary momentum behind our work to connect more Minnesotans to broadband,” said Governor Tim Walz. “Broadband is an essential component of our state’s infrastructure and it’s a lifeline for Minnesota students, workers, small businesses, families, and communities. We’re making big investments in the future of our economy and workforce, while ensuring Minnesotans stay connected to the people who matter most.”
“Every Minnesotan deserves reliable and affordable high-speed internet,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “It’s how we run our businesses, do our homework, and connect to our loved ones. I’m so proud of the incredible investments we’re making so that whether you live in Moorhead or St. Paul, Thief River Falls or Owatonna, every Minnesotan will have access to this basic necessity.”
In total, 30 broadband expansion projects around Minnesota will receive grants from two broadband programs administered by the Department of Employment and Economic Development’s (DEED) Office of Broadband Development. Providers estimate the funding will extend new high-speed broadband access to more than 13,100 Minnesota homes and business in 26 counties. Grant awards by project can be found below and on DEED’s website.
“Broadband is crucial for Minnesota’s economy. It provides unrivaled flexibility for workers and businesses and helps develop local economies across the state,” said DEED Commissioner Matt Varilek. “We’re proud to award these grants to broadband providers who will help us foster more connected and equitable communities everywhere.”
Broadband expansion is a major priority for the Walz-Flanagan Administration and DEED. The state is pursuing a 2026 goal that every Minnesota home and business has access to at least one broadband provider with download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of at least 20 Mbps.
Today’s announcement includes investments from two DEED programs:
The Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program, through which grantees can use the funds to reimburse up to half the eligible cost of deploying broadband infrastructure, with funding for a single project capped at $5 million. Projects must offer speeds of at least 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload.
The Low-Population Density Program, which funds up to 75% of eligible project costs to help providers build out broadband infrastructure in some of the more remote or costly-to-serve areas of the state.
“We’re grateful for the partnership of so many broadband providers and we’re excited to work with them to connect more Minnesotans to high-speed broadband,” said Bree Maki, Executive Director of the DEED Office of Broadband Development.
The Kandiyohi County Projects funded included:
Meeker Coop Light & Power – Lake Elizabeth-East Lake Lillian Townships – GRANT $1,428,066
This last-mile project will serve 185 households, farms, businesses and community anchor institutions in central Minnesota. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Kandiyohi County ($148,125), Lake Elizabeth Township ($20,800) and East Lake Lillian Township ($19,000), Meeker Coop Light & Power will improve unserved/underserved area to speeds of 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding Minnesota’s 2026 state speed goal. Building a fiber-to-the-premises network that provides advanced, high-speed broadband services improves access to critical school e-learning applications while also making agricultural operations more efficient and enhancing crop production through enabled precision agriculture tools. In addition, the broadband network will improve access to rural health care resources and will stimulate a more robust local area economy. A fiber-to-the-premises network will ultimately improve the lives of all citizens of the area, lessening the “technological divide” between urban and rural areas.
- Total eligible project cost is $1,904,088
- Local match is $476,022
Meeker Coop Light & Power – Harrison Township – GRANT $533,959
This last-mile project will serve 216 households, farms, businesses and community anchor institutions in central Minnesota, north of the city of Atwater. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Kandiyohi County ($251,600) and Harrison Township ($44,400), Meeker Coop Light & Power will improve unserved/underserved areas to super-fast speeds of 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload. A fiber-to-the-premises network will ultimately improve the lives of all citizens of the area, lessening the “technological divide” between urban and rural areas.
- Total eligible project cost is $1,186,576
- Local match is $652,617
Read the full list of funded projects from DEED