Arvig, Redwood County to Collaborate on Fiber Project in 8 Cities
Redwood County and Arvig will collaborate on a $4.4 million project to provide fiber internet services to eight cities in the county.
The project, however, is contingent upon a successful application to the State of Minnesota Border to Border Broadband Development Grant program. Redwood County and Arvig are currently working on a joint application seeking $1.3 million for the project. Redwood County has provided a local match of $1.9 million, utilizing their American Rescue Plan dollars, and Arvig has committed to fund the remaining $1.2 million.
The network, when complete in June 2025, will provide internet speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) for homes and up to 10 Gigabits per second for businesses in the cities of Belview, Clements, Morgan, Seaforth, Vesta, Wabasso, Walnut Grove and Wanda. In total, more than 1,870 structures will be served, or about 30 percent of Redwood County residents.
“Arvig is committed to bringing the highest quality broadband services to Redwood County,” said Mark Birkholz, Director of Customer Operations and Southern Markets at Arvig. “Fiber will reliably serve homes and businesses with the speeds these communities need for work, daily life and out-pacing most areas in our highly connected world.”
“The Redwood County Commissioners acknowledge the allocation is significant, however believe the one-time investment will serve the residents and businesses in the county today, and for generations to come,” added Redwood County Board of Commissioners chair Jim Salfer.
The Border to Border Development Grant program was developed in 2014 to provide financial support to invest in building broadband infrastructure into unserved and underserved areas of the state. Utilizing $25 million in state general revenue fund, and $70 million in Capital Projects Funds, a total of $95 million has been allocated to the program for the current grant cycle.
The addition of fiber in these communities helps fulfill a long-term priority for the Redwood County Economic Development Authority. Redwood County currently ranks 85 of 87 counties in the state with access to an internet speed of at least 100 Mbps download, and 20 Mbps upload speed (100/20 Mbps).
“One of Arvig’s biggest priorities is reaching unserved and underserved communities across Minnesota,” Birkholz added. “We’re proud to partner with the Redwood County EDA to expand broadband access and give residents an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of high speed internet.”
One of the Border to Border grant application requirements is to provide substantive evidence of community support for the project. Residents and businesses are encouraged to pledge their support, or draft a letter of support at https://redwoodcountyeda.com/broadband by July 29. Each response strengthens the application. For more information, contact the Redwood County EDA at firstname.lastname@example.org or 507-637-4016.
In addition, Arvig has created a survey to gauge community interest in future broadband projects. Residents can take the survey at arvig.com/survey. The survey is also available at https://redwoodcountyeda.com/broadband.
Headquartered in Perham, Minnesota, Arvig is a local, employee-owned broadband and full-service telecommunications provider. Committed to delivering cutting-edge technology to customers throughout the region, Arvig provides residential internet, television, and telephone services. Additionally, Arvig provides a wide variety of business technology solutions. Visit arvig.com for additional information.
About the Redwood County Economic Development Authority
The mission of the Redwood County Economic Development Authority is to be the catalyst for economic growth, job creation, business retention and improving the quality of life in Redwood County. For more information, visit https://redwoodcountyeda.com.