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State Gives Out $20M In Broadband Internet Grants

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - Lt. Gov. Tina Smith and Katie Sieben, commissioner of Minnesota's economic development department, held a teleconference Monday to talk about the state's new broadband Internet expansion program.

Sieben said the $19.4 million in grants will help connect 6,100 households, 83 community institutions and 150 businesses with faster Internet.

"From an economic development perspective, not having access to high quality broadband limits our state's ability to compete," Sieben said.

Winning applicants were awarded grants as small as $105,000 and as big as $5 million.

Expanding Broadband in Minnesota

"Just like businesses and homes need electricity to function, they need broadband to function, and in today's global economy, broadband isn't just nice, it's necessary," Smith said.

The legislature set aside $20 million last year for broadband expansion.

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