The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded a $14.89 million Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Grant to Dairyland Power Cooperative to expand internet access in underserved rural communities.
Dairyland applied for the grant in 2022 to support the communities served by its member cooperatives in rural Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. Through this grant, 240 miles of Dairyland’s transmission network will be retrofitted with optical ground wire (OPGW) during its Tri-State Fiber Deployment Project. The majority of the fiber optic installation is expected to be completed within two years.
Internet access is an equity issue, detrimental to population health, safety, education, economic growth and social ties in communities with insufficient infrastructure.