CenturyLink, Inc. has been awarded $1.8 million in state Border-to-Border broadband grants to improve broadband service as part of the $3.6 million  project in the Fredenberg Township near Duluth, Lt. Governor Tina Smith and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced. 

CenturyLink will invest more $1.8 million in company funds to bring fiber to the home (FTTHand higher internet speeds to more than 800 households and businesses in CenturyLink service areas in Fredenberg Township.

”I’ve been a proponent of expanding broadband investment in Northeast Minnesota as well as the state broadband grant program since I was first elected to the legislature,” Rep. Jason Metsa (DFL-Virginia) said in a prepared statement.  “I wholeheartedly support public-private investment from providers such as CenturyLink.”

CenturyLink participates in the Federal Communications Commission’s Connect America Fund (CAF) program. Through the CAF program, CenturyLink will deploy broadband to more than 114,000 locations in FCC-designated high-cost census blocks in Minnesota over a six-year period.

Construction is expected to begin sometime next summer.