The Mille Lacs Energy Cooperative was one of several organizations named recipients of a Minnesota State Broadband Grant last week.

The amount of the grant is $198,607, with a local match of $242,743. The total estimated cost of the project is $441,350.

MLEC will bring 1 GBPS speeds to 84 homes and one business, which exceeds the state’s 2022 and 2026 speed goals.

The project area is located on the southeast side of Farm Island Lake.

According to a press release from MLEC, the Phase 4 project will use symmetrical fiber-to-the-home internet service.

“FTTH is the fastest and most reliable Internet available,” a spokesperson for MLEC said. “We are excited to, once again, partner with Consolidated Telecommunications Company (CTC) on the construction of this project and expand our MLEC fiber internet network.”

In addition to Phase 4, MLEC is resuming construction on its Phase 3 and East Lake projects this spring. MLEC said there is still time to sign up for these projects.

MLEC emphasized that residents in these project areas will have expanded educational, economic and health care opportunities.

“Especially during these unprecedented times, we understand that having an internet connection is more important than ever before,” the company said.

For more information on MLEC Fiber Internet call the office at 218-429-0433 or visit the company’s website at www.mlecmn.net/fiber. Project area maps, internet plans, and service agreements can all be found online.

State Rep. Dale Lueck said he was pleased to see broadband funding reaching the area.

“The state Border-to-Border Broadband program continues to be a bipartisan effort led by rural legislators to build out rural internet service into the unserved and underserved areas in Minnesota,” he said.

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