Mower County to receive almost $1.5 million from FCC for rural broadband

Published 6:32 am Tuesday, August 13, 2019

WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission authorized over $28.5 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to 8,089 unserved homes and businesses in Minnesota, part of the fourth wave of support from last year’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction. The providers will begin receiving funding later this month.

Of that total, Mower County will receive $1,493,186 to provide broadband to 523 locations.

Nationwide, the FCC authorized over $121 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to 36,579 unserved rural homes and businesses in 16 states in today’s wave of funding.

Email newsletter signup

“As we continue to authorize funds to expand broadband in rural America, I am excited to see the benefits for rural residents who live all across the country, from Tribal lands in Wyoming to mountain communities in Appalachia, from the Great Plains to the Pacific Northwest, and from the Texas Panhandle to northern Minnesota,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “In Minnesota, this round of funding takes yet another step toward closing the digital divide, providing access to digital opportunity to nearly 8,100 unserved rural homes and businesses.”

In Minnesota, the FCC has authorized a total of $35.4 million to expand broadband to 10,374 unserved rural homes and businesses in 43 counties.  Providers must build out to 40 percent of the assigned homes and businesses in the areas won in a state within three years. Build out must increase by 20 percent in each subsequent year, until complete build out is reached at the end of the sixth year.

The Connect America Fund Phase II auction last year allocated $1.488 billion nationwide in support to expand broadband to more than 700,000 unserved rural homes and small businesses over the next 10 years. It is part of a broader effort by the FCC to close the digital divide in rural America. On Aug. 1, the FCC proposed taking its biggest single step to date toward closing the rural digital divide by establishing the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which would direct up to $20.4 billion to expand broadband in unserved rural areas.

More information on the auction is available at A map of winning bids is available at