Broadband Grant Not Funded
In September 2020, Consolidated Telephone Company (CTC) submitted a Border to Board Broadband grant application on behalf of Chisago Lake and Franconia townships. In late January 2021, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (MN DEED) announced that they were not funding that application.
MidContinent Communications (Midco) had challenged the CTC application, indicating it currently provides internet service of 1GB symmetrical to identified portions of the project and would be able serve additional areas at 1GB speeds in 2021. Thus, Chisago Lake and Franconia townships were removed from consideration for MN DEED grant funding based on the finding that the Midco’s challenge was credible.
In October 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a “reverse auction” (FCC RDOF 904) allowing companies to apply for Rural Digital Opportunity Funds by making a case that they can deliver the best service to an area (defined by using census blocks) at the lowest price. Those funds are aimed providing internet service with at least 100/20 Mbps speeds in currently underserved areas. In December 2020, the FCC announced that MidContinent Communications and Windstream Services were the bid winners in our area. Those companies now have until June 2021 to develop and present their plans and up to six years to implement those plans if approved.