Grant to construct six mainline, last-mile networks

Arvig has been awarded six grants from the State of Minnesota’s Border-to-Border Broadband program which it will invest in fiber infrastructure projects during the next three years to expand and improve high-speed internet access in five counties, including Otter Tail.

Arvig’s Border-to-Border grant awards, totalling $8.7 million, will be allocated toward constructing six mainline and last-mile fiber-to-the-premise networks around the state by mid-year 2025. The six projects total $28.9 million, with funding from the grants, local matches by city and county funding partners of over $12 million, and Arvig’s own capital investment of more than $8 million.

“As a service provider, it’s encouraging to be a part of this large-scale investment in rural broadband in Minnesota,” David Arvig, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Arvig. “These crucial projects will serve residents with the speeds they need to keep up with the next-generation demands of internet connectivity, whether it’s for work, entertainment or day to day life.”

Altogether, the networks will serve an estimated 1,413 unserved and 3,212 underserved structures in Anoka, Otter Tail, Redwood, Sherburne and Stearns counties. Service will be delivered to the rural areas near, or directly into, about 25 cities and towns within those counties.

Once complete, residents will have access to internet speeds from 100 Megabits per second (20 Mbps upload) up to 10 Gigabits per second (1 Gbps upload), meeting and exceeding Minnesota’s 2026 state speed goal. 

  The Border-to-Border Broadband program is administered by the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)’s Office of Broadband Development. Arvig has participated in the program since its inception in 2014.

Projects will begin as soon as grants are awarded and weather conditions allow, and all work is slated for completion before June of 2025. 

“Broadband is the plumbing of the 21st Century. Without it, businesses and households can’t participate in today’s economy,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “We’re proud to work with broadband providers and offer these historic grants that will empower more growth and more equity in our state.”

Statewide, 61 broadband expansion projects will receive a share of $99.6 million in grants from the Border-to-Border program, representing the largest single investment in broadband in the state’s history, according to the governor’s office.