Broadband and Advanced Technology Committee
The Broadband and Advanced Technology Committee meets at 10:00 a.m. on the first Monday of each month at the Kandiyohi County Health & Human Services Building.
Educate, lobby and collaborate to secure future-proof broadband services throughout Kandiyohi County.
- Educate: Supply elected officials with talking points that reflect the needs/stories of businesses and citizens of the county (gathered through listening sessions, testimonial letters and community conversations).
- Collaborate to gain buy-in from residents, providers and financial supporters and to take advantage of funding opportunities that are available. Use the five-township project as a springboard.
- Lobby for broadband resources working with local townships, cities, county and state representatives. Support statewide lobbying efforts that enhance policies for broadband expansion.
- Speed maps reflect 50% of Kandiyohi County at 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload in two years/100% in five years
- Equal access to educational opportunities
- Equal access to healthcare
- Businesses expand and are able to attract the needed workforce
- The spiritual needs of the community members can be met remotely
- Increased property values due to broadband access
- Broadband is accessible to all just as is electric services
There are currently 12 potential broadband projects occurring in Kandiyohi County, including one through the state Border-to-Border Development Grants.
- City of Prinsburg—Arvig to serve 207 locations.
- 141st Avenue NE—Charter to serve 37 locations.
- 199th Avenue NE—Charter to serve 32 locations.
- 30th Avenue NW—Charter to serve 23 locations.
- Riverwood—Charter to serve 84 locations.
- Hawick—Vibrant Broadband to serve 60 locations.
- Long Lake—Vibrant Broadband to serve 229 locations.
- West Project—Federated Telephone Cooperative, a joint venture with the EDC to serve 645 locations in the townships of Arctander, Dovre, Mamre and St. Johns. A state Border-to-Border Development Grant application was submitted in August 2022. The period for current providers to challenge the project area ended on September 8, 2022. The EDC is awaiting a decision by the state on a grant award, which is expected by fall of 2022.
- Lakes Project—Mediacom to serve 967 locations.
- New London—Charter to serve 347 locations.
- Southeast—Frontier to serve 450 locations.
- USDA ReConnect Grant—Vibrant Broadband to serve 2,084 locations.
Past State Grant Applications:
- Consolidated Telecommunications Co. (CTC) received the highest award ever given by the state of Minnesota—a $4.94 million grant, to improve high-speed broadband to north central and northwestern Kandiyohi County. The grant was subsequently declined by CTC and the project was not done.
- Frontier Communications was awarded $1.02 million to expand broadband access in rural southeastern Kandiyohi County.
The EDC has received several grants from the Blandin Foundation to further broadband initiatives in Kandiyohi County:
- In 2016, the EDC was awarded a grant for a robust network feasibility study of Kandiyohi County.
- In 2015, the EDC received a grant to install WiFi hotspots for its grant partners Central Community Transit, New London-Spicer Schools, United Way of West Central Minnesota and the city of Willmar. All grant partners purchased portable WiFi routers that can be used on their buses, except for the city of Willmar, which used the grant funds to expand WiFi at the Willmar Civic Center.
- In 2014, the EDC received a grant to host the county’s first-ever hackathon. Hack20 was held September 18-20, 2015 and resulted in four potential apps for the community.
- In 2010, the EDC was 1 of 11 demonstration communities to receive funding through the Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities (MIRC) Initiative.
Mark Boeschen, Chairperson
Michelle Marotzke, Vice Chair
Business Development Manager