Lt. Governor Tina Smith, Department of Employment and Economic Development, announced on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 that $34 million will be awarded for 42 broadband projects across greater Minnesota. Garden Valley Telephone Company was awarded funding assistance to build broadband to rural Thief River Falls.
Over 100 residents and businesses in Pennington and Marshall Counties showed their support of Garden Valley’s border-to-border grant application by submitting a petition nearly a year in advance. Garden Valley will be able to offer rural Thief River Falls the opportunity to have Internet access, allowing employees to work from home and their children improved access to homework and educational resources.
With Garden Valley’s Gig certification in 2015, and being presented the Smart Rural Community Award in September of 2016, they now have the capacity to provide rural communities with broadband-enabled solutions, with speeds up to 1 gigabit, to customers over the fiber network.
The grant provides the assistance needed to plow state-of-the-art fiber optic cable to the home in order to provide rural Thief River Falls access to local phone service, Internet speeds up to 1 GB and digital Video services, which includes over 200 channels.
The border-to-border broadband project for rural Thief River Falls will serve 330 unserved households, 23 unserved businesses and 2 community anchor institutions. The total cost will be $4.2 million, with a $2.2 million local match by Garden Valley and the state grant totaling $2 million. A map of the project area can be found above. Residents living in the area can expect to receive communications from Garden Valley in the near future.
“Garden Valley is thrilled to be included as one of the projects receiving a grant. The opportunity to offer speeds up to 1 gigabit to the rural area of Thief River Falls is a project the staff at Garden Valley is looking forward to”
said Tim Brinkman, CEO/General Manager at Garden Valley Telephone Company.