MN Broadband Line Extension Connection Program in ScandiaIn the 2022 Legislative Session, the Office of Broadband Development (OBD) was directed to create a new program, the Broadband Line Extension Connection Program. The purpose of the program is to award grants for the extension of existing broadband infrastructure to unserved locations. An unserved location is a location that does not have a wired broadband service of at least 25Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload.
In Scandia, our unserverd addresses generally fall into one of two categories:
- Inside MidCo Territory, but not currently wired. These are typically properties with long driveways and locations where new homes have been built
- Areas where MidCo has not expanded and Frontier has not upgraded their service to offer higher speeds yet.
How the program will work?People can report to OBD that a wired broadband service is unavailable at their residence or business by entering information on the online application or by calling 651-259-7610 and requesting a paper application or by talking to someone at OBD who will complete the application on their behalf.
What happens after an application is submitted?Every six months, OBD will send the list of addresses to each broadband provider offering service in Minnesota. Providers then have ten days to notify OBD that they can provide service at any of the addresses on the list. OBD will then contact those people to let them know the name of the broadband provider that can offer them service and any discounted pricing plans available.
For those addresses that are not served by a provider or in an area that will be built with an already awarded Border-to-Border Broadband grant project, OBD will hold a 60-day reverse auction where broadband service providers can bid to extend service to one or more of the addresses on the list. In their bid, providers will identify the grant amount requested to extend the broadband service. Within 60 days of the auction closing, OBD will select the bids that request the least amount of financial support from the state and that are a cost-effective expenditure of state resources. OBD will then enter into line extension agreements with each winning bidder. Winning bidders will have one year from the date the contract is signed to complete the broadband line extension.
How is the City helping?Scandia’s Internet Action Committee took a proactive step and mailed postcards to all the addresses they believe may qualify to participate in the program. If you receive a postcard, and desire high speed internet service, we encourage you to follow the instructions provided on the postcard.
Click on any of the following links for more information:
- Access the MN DEED website.
- Access the Line Extension Application Form.
- Access the Interactive Scandia Expansion Map.