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Mille Lacs Energy Cooperative (MLEC) was recently awarded a Community Connect Grant from the USDA, Rural Utilities Service, for a Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) internet project. The project will encompass a substantial portion of Rice River Township and Spaulding Township in rural Aitkin County.

The area also includes land and facilities owned and operated by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in the East Lake Community.

The project will pass 235 homes and businesses and will provide up to one Gbps symmetrical Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) internet service. FTTH is the fastest and most reliable internet available. MLEC will once again partner with Consolidated Telecommunications Company (CTC) on the construction of this project and expand the XStream Fiber internet network.

Broadband internet access is not a luxury. In rural America, it allows for searching and applying for jobs; completing schoolwork; telecommuting; telehealth; and the potential to bring businesses to the area. Much like bringing electricity to every home and farm in rural America, bringing broadband internet access to rural America will reduce the economic disparity of our regions. This grant will be a boost to economic development in the region and will aid in the advancement of telehealth and educational needs of the area residents.

For more information on XStream Fiber internet, visit MLEC’s website at www.mlecmn.net/xstream-fiber or call MLEC at 218-429-0433.

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