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CTC Receives DEED Award to Expand Broadband Internet

Brainerd, MN – On Tuesday, March 5 the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced that they have awarded over $53 million in grants through their Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant program. The 24 projects that were awarded throughout the state will be matched by nearly $51 million in local funds, for a total investment of over $104 million.

The funding, which was approved during the 2023 legislative sessions, will be used by broadband providers to build out infrastructure and provide services to unserved and underserved locations. This round of funding will provide internet access to over 8,900 businesses, homes, and community institutions across the state.

Consolidated Telephone Company (CTC) was one of the grant recipients, receiving $2,292,790 in funding. This will be combined with an equal amount in matching funds from CTC, Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, and St. Louis County. When successfully completed, the $4.6 million project will provide internet services – with speeds of up to 1Gig – to over 300 homes and businesses in portions of St. Louis, Morrison, and Crow Wing counties.

“It’s an honor to receive this award as it helps to further our mission of connecting more communities, especially in rural areas,” said Kristi Westbrock, CEO and General Manager at CTC. “We’re confident that better internet services will enhance the lives of everyone that lives, works, and visits these areas.”

Once complete, the project will allow rural residents to work and learn from home, access telehealth options, safely live in their homes longer, and increase communication. Access to reliable broadband is also proven to boost economic development, enabling businesses to reach new markets, gain new customers, streamline operations, and complete basic functions more effectively and efficiently.

Created in 2014, the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program provides state resources that help make the financial case for new and existing providers to invest in building broadband infrastructure into unserved and underserved areas of the state. Grants were awarded through a competitive application process. More information about the program is available at https://mn.gov/deed/programs-services/broadband/grant-program/.


For more information contact:

Joe Buttweiler, Director of Business Development
218-454-1275, joe@goctc.com

CTC is a technology advisor and full-service telecommunications cooperative based in Brainerd, MN. Formed in 1952, CTC has grown into a complete communications provider offering telephone, high-speed internet, digital television, and IT services to businesses and individuals throughout central and northern Minnesota. More information about CTC can be found at www.goctc.com.