The Federal Communications Commission this week 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 s successful Connect America Fund Phase II auction. The providers will begin receiving funding later this month.

Among the providers, is Midcontinent Communications, which will receive $389,000 to extend a minimum of 100/20 Mbps service to 168 customers in Rice County

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.

“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,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

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% of the assigned homes and businesses in the areas won in a state within three years. Buildout must increase by 20% in each subsequent year, until complete buildout is reached at the end of the sixth year.

Reach Regional Managing Editor Suzanne Rook at 507-333-3134. Follow her on Twitter @rooksuzy

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