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Expanding Connectivity: Arvig’s Endeavor to Bridge the Digital Divide in Rural Minnesota

In a significant stride towards enhancing connectivity in rural Minnesota, Arvig, a local broadband and full-service telecommunications provider headquartered in the state, has clinched a grant from Minnesota’s Broadband Line Extension Connection Program. This grant, awarded as part of Round 2 of the program’s funding process, aims to facilitate the expansion of high-speed internet access to 69 unserved locations across rural Minnesota.

Grant Funding Allocation: Empowering Connectivity

Arvig’s successful bid secured grants amounting to a total of USD 543,244 from the program. These funds are earmarked for the construction of last-mile fiber network infrastructure, crucial for delivering high-speed internet services to underserved areas. With the overall project costs estimated at USD 612,244, Arvig has pledged an investment of USD 69,000 to cover any additional expenses incurred during the implementation phase.

Empowering Underserved Communities: Project Scope

The 69 unserved locations identified for connectivity enhancement span across various rural areas, including Rural Callaway, Henning, Rochert, Detroit Lakes, and Frazee. Arvig anticipates commencing construction on select projects as early as May 2024, with a targeted completion timeline set for May 2025. This initiative underscores Arvig’s commitment to bridging the digital gap and fostering inclusive growth across Minnesota’s rural landscape.

Exceeding Connectivity Standards: Delivering Enhanced Services

In adherence to the program’s stringent requirements, Arvig is poised to surpass the mandated internet speeds of 100 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload. Leveraging cutting-edge technology, the company pledges to deliver speeds of up to 1 Gbps download and 100 Mbps upload to the newly connected locations. This ambitious endeavor not only meets but exceeds the connectivity expectations of the communities poised to benefit from this initiative.

Gratitude and Program Impact: A Collaborative Effort

Expressing gratitude for the program’s support, Arvig acknowledges the pivotal role played by the Line Extension Connection Program in addressing the connectivity challenges faced by underserved communities. By alleviating the financial burdens associated with deploying internet infrastructure in remote areas, the program empowers providers like Arvig to expand their reach and deliver transformative connectivity solutions.

Program Continuity: A Testament to Progress

The Line Extension Connection Program, administered by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), stands as a beacon of progress in the state’s quest for universal connectivity. Established in 2022 with a budget of USD 15 million, the program continues to spearhead initiatives aimed at bridging the digital divide and fostering equitable access to high-speed internet services.

Sustained Commitment: Arvig’s Ongoing Efforts

This latest grant marks another milestone in Arvig’s ongoing efforts to extend internet access to underserved regions of Minnesota. Building upon the success of previous initiatives, including the acceptance of a separate grant in late 2023 to extend internet service to 118 locations in lakes-area communities, Arvig reaffirms its dedication to driving positive change through connectivity.

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