Broadband funding keeps Lake County on holdThe Lake County broadband project is still on hold as the county waits for its application with the Rural Utilities Service to get approved.
By: Matt Suoja, Lake County News Chronicle
The Lake County broadband project is still on hold as the county waits for its application with the Rural Utilities Service to get approved.
“[The RUS] hasn’t given any clues on who’s being funded,” said Gary Fields of National Public Broadband, who is working with the county on the project.
Fields said at the county board meeting Tuesday that he doesn’t know when the announcement will come.
The board is seeking about $22 million for a loan and $11 million in grants, plus $4 million from county revenue bonds for the Broadband Initiatives Program.
Fields said representatives working on the project will meet with St. Louis County to discuss the possibility of extending the project to some small portions of rural areas there, perhaps doubling the potential customer base.
If the RUS rejects the county’s application, there are other ways the county could resubmit its application.
The project would provide a fiber optic network that would connect homes and businesses throughout Lake County with television, internet and phone services. The project would be paid for by the operational revenue it generates.
Numerous governmental agencies have been given their support for the project.
The board recently passed a resolution to start contract negotiations for construction and design of the network with Ledcor Technical Services. The company has worked on projects similar to Lake County’s before, including one in Oregon.
For more information about the project, visit www.co.lake.mn.us. Click on the “FAQ’s” link below “Lake County Fiber Network Project – Update.”