On Wednesday, June 28, the State of Minnesota announced the 2023 Border-to-Border Broadband Grant recipients. Three of those projects within Wright County have been awarded funding, meaning more than 1,000 homes, farms and businesses in the county will receive improved broadband service. These are the Border-to-Border grant recipients.
Arvig (Tekstar) – Wright County Area Fiber Extension – Grant $879,747
This last-mile project will build to 256 households, farms and businesses throughout parts of rural Wright County. Thanks to a funding partnership with Wright County ($439,873) and the State of Minnesota, Arvig will be able to extend its growing fiber network to these structures with internet speeds between 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload to 10 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, meeting and exceeding Minnesota’s 2026 state speed goal. The all fiber-to-the-premises construction will begin as soon as the grant is awarded and the environmental reviews are completed, and will be completed before December 2025, allowing these customers to receive the internet service they need. With the completion of this project, these rural Wright County residents will be able to run their own at-home businesses and farms; work from home more efficiently; continue or pursue their education online with confidence; have better access to telehealth services; access more entertainment and stay connected with their friends and family.
Frontier Communications – City of Clearwater – Grant $829,800
In a partnership with Wright County ($780,000), this last-mile fiber broadband project will provide 5 Gbps symmetrical service to 316 households, businesses, community anchor institutions and farms that are currently unserved or underserved. Frontier’s project area primarily includes locations in the northernmost point of Wright County near Clearwater. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota and Wright County, Frontier will offer fiber broadband services at speeds as high as 5 Gbps download and 5 Gbps upload, exceeding Minnesota’s 2026 state speed goal. Building a fiber-to-the-premises network that provides advanced, high-speed broadband services will improve access to critical school e-learning applications and rural healthcare resources while also making agricultural operations more efficient and enhancing crop production through enabled precision agriculture tools. The broadband network will stimulate a more robust local area economy and will also improve the quality of life for area residents.
Meeker Co-op Light & Power – French Lake Township – Grant $1,270,132
This last-mile project will serve 525 households, businesses and the French Lake Township Hall in central Minnesota, north of Highway 55. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota and Wright County ($776,192), Meeker Co-op Light & Power will improve an 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 will improve 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 health care resources and will stimulate a more robust local area economy. Wright County committed $204,000 in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to Meeker Coop for 113 locations in Cokato Township, which was contingent upon the French Lake Township project receiving the state grant. That brings Wright County’s total commitment (using ARP funds) to just over $2.2 million for this grant round.