County broadband application 1 of 44

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Swift County’s application for broadband funding is one of 44 that were submitted to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) by the Sept. 23 deadline.

In all, the 44 grant applications submitted are seeking $29.06 million to expand broadband coverage for their areas. However, just $10.58 million was made available by the Legislature for this year’s funding round.

Last year, DEED received 40 applications seeking $44.2 million, but had $20 million available in its Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program.

In July, Swift County pledged $7.5 to $8 million in bond funds to help Federated Telephone expand broadband fiber optic cable to unserved areas in the eastern half of the county. County backing was essential to the broadband grant application Federated was submitting to DEED.

With only $10 million available for projects, and the maximum award $5 million, Federated’s request for funding would account for half the pot available this time around.

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