Congressman Collin Peterson -- Minnesota's Seventh Congressional District
Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2010
CONTACT: 
Sara Kloek/202-225-2165

Todd, Cass, Crow Wing and Morrison Counties to receive increased broadband access

(Washington, DC) –Over 7,160 homes and 795 businesses in Todd, Cass, Crow Wing, and Morrison counties will have access to broadband internet services as a result of a federal loan of $49.6 million. Today, members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation announced that the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development is providing the financing for the project, which was authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill.

Consolidated Telecommunications Company (CTC) of Brainerd will install 1,524 miles of fiber optic cable to six communities over five years. Because of USDA Rural Development loans, rural companies are able to access affordable credit to build much-needed infrastructure in rural communities. 

“This loan will finance essential infrastructure that most urban and suburban residents take for granted. Reliable, affordable broadband service is an essential,” said Congressman Collin Peterson. “Access to quality broadband service creates and preserves jobs while encouraging economic development, business innovation, education, and medical technology in areas where these priorities may otherwise go unmet.” 

“The implementation of this fiber optic network to our rural Cooperative members will provide ultra fast high-speed broadband which is second to none. This new technology will provide the necessary bandwidth our members will benefit from now and in the future” said CTC CEO/General Manger Kevin Larson. 

“Every American should have access to broadband internet service just as they have access to telephone service and electricity,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar. “I have heard first-hand from Minnesotans about the importance of having access to fast and affordable high-speed internet. These funds will help bring quality internet access to rural Minnesota.”

“Minnesota’s rural communities need to stay connected to the rest of the world in order to compete in today’s global economy,” said Senator Al Franken. “Strengthening rural broadband will create jobs, foster economic growth, and help keep young people in the communities they grew up in.” 

“This is a good investment for rural Minnesota because it opens up new economic development opportunities and creates jobs,” said Congressman Jim Oberstar. “In the 19th and 20th centuries, railroads and highways helped our farms and forests send their goods to market. Today, broadband will help us send our ideas into the global marketplace.”

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