(KTTC) -- The state is giving out major cash to ensure southeast Minnesotans have access to high-quality internet.
The pandemic has highlighted the fact that some communities don't have reliable internet access, making distance learning a challenge. The problem doesn't only impact education. It can make working from home and virtual health care difficult.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is awarding nearly $5.6 million in grants to nine projects throughout our viewing area. Gov. Tim Walz made the announcement on Thursday in a news release.
The investment in broadband access goes far beyond southeast Minnesota. In addition to the nine projects in our region, there are 30 other projects across the state receiving grants.
According to the governor's office, the state will give out $20.6 million, which is being supplemented by another $33.7 million in local funds.
The projects will serve households, businesses, farms and more. The state's goal is to provide high-speed internet access to all of Minnesota's homes and businesses by 2022.
The various projects will serve the following areas in southeast Minnesota:
- Olmsted County: Marion and Salem Townships
- Dodge County: Ashland and Vernon Townships
- Mower County: Sargeant Townships
- Goodhue County: Welch area, Goodhue Township, Zumbrota Township, Minneola Township, Belle Creek Township
- Wabasha County: Chester Township
- Fillmore County: Rural Peterson
- Freeborn County: Alden, Carlston, Manchester, Mansfield and Pickerel Lake Townships
- Parts of Winona, Waseca, Rice and Steele counties
Click here for more information on the specific projects receiving grants from the state.