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Broadband grants to benefit Northland

The Fond du Lac Band will receive $602,916.

Reels of tubing to house fiber-optic lines. (Pine Journal file photo)
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Gov. Tim Walz announced plans to invest more than $20 million to expand access to high-speed internet service across the state, including three grants that will benefit Northland residents.

The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa will receive a $602,916 grant to help upgrade its infrastructure to serve 37 new households and 99 underserved customers, including properties on the reservation, western Cloquet and Perch Lake Township. The fiber network is expected to open up new business development opportunities and improved health care resources.

Paul Bunyan Communications is slated to receive a $2.56 million grant to deliver high-speed service to 914 unserved properties and 493 underserved customers in the Leech Lake Reservation and rural portions of Cass, Itasca, Koochiching and St. Louis counties.

The Bois Forte Tribal Government has been awarded a $1.25 million grant to reach 10 new households and 469 underserved properties in the Bois Forte Reservation, Nett Lake, Palmquist, Indian Point and Vermilion areas.

"Fast, reliable broadband access is a critical economic development tool that improves quality of life and makes businesses in greater Minnesota more competitive," Walz said. "These grants help us get closer to our goal to ensure that every Minnesotan has high-speed access by 2022."

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