Rural residents of Houston, Minnesota, will benefit from a $2.9 million grant awarded to AcenTek by the Border-to-Border grant program.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced last week that AcenTek was among the 30 recipients across the state to receive a grant.
This is big news for AcenTek because the cost to the rural Houston fiber project is greater than any previous fiber project the company has done.
The project, estimated to cost more than $9.6 million, is the largest (in square miles) of the areas the company provides service to.
AcenTek was awarded the grant for $2,895,318, which will cover 30% of the total cost of the project.
The project in rural Houston will positively impact residents at more than 900 locations (farms, residences and businesses).
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Once the fiber build is complete, farmers will have more opportunities for using technology within agriculture, employees of area medical facilities will have options for telecommuting and students will have faster Internet speeds for research and study materials.
While faster internet is the biggest, most obvious benefit of a community being upgraded to fiber, it is not the only one.
A fiber connection is more reliable than copper so customers can expect far less disruptions to AcenTek services during storms. In addition, a community that offers future residents (and potential businesses) connectivity to fiber optics is more attractive, encouraging their relocating to the area.
Fiber also increases the customers’ options for services, regardless of how remote their location.
Todd Roesler, CEO of AcenTek said: “This year marks our 70th year in business. AcenTek is still here because of our customers. They have placed their trust in us to be their provider and, in return, we want to provide them with the very best service available. We know the best service means service via fiber. I’m thrilled that, with the help of this grant, we are able to begin the project that will bring fiber to our customers in rural Houston.”
Minnesota’s Border-to-Border Broadband Development Program helps providers expand the availability of high-speed internet across the state. More than $23 million was awarded in grants by the program this year.