Article by: Ryan Yetzer
On January 11, 2017, AcenTek, the Voice, Video and Internet provider out of Houston, MN, was awarded a $1.78 million grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to extend fiber broadband access to the rural Lanesboro area. The CEDA team was able to play an instrumental role in securing this funding by drafting AcenTek’s Boarder to Boarder Broadband Grant application. CEDA utilized their economic development services contract with Fillmore County to facilitate a valuable partnership between the CEDA grant writers, Fillmore County’s EDA, and AcenTek.
“Extending broadband services to rural communities is an important project for southeast Minnesota. AcenTek was an outstanding partner to work with, and we couldn’t be happier that they were chosen to receive funding” said CEDA’s Ryan Yetzer who was the primary author of the successful grant application.
Of the 42 projects awarded State funding, only 3 projects were awarded a larger dollar amount. This project will allow AcenTek to extend fiber broadband services to the rural Lanesboro area, including sections of the City of Whalan, Carrolton Township, and Holt Township.
This project will provide world class broadband speeds to 431 household, 42 businesses, and one community anchor institution, all of which are currently considered “unserved” by State standards. AcenTek’s project is a great example of a public-private partnership–the State of Minnesota is contributing $1.78 million, Fillmore County is contributing $75,000, and AcenTek is picking up the remaining $2.8 million through private investment, for a total project investment of $4.68 million. This project is expected to be completed by mid-2018.