AcenTek awarded grant for broadband expansion

Rural residents of Houston will benefit from a grant awarded to AcenTek by the Border-to-Border grant program.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, made an announcement Jan. 21 that AcenTek was among the 30 recipients across the state to receive a grant.

This is big news for AcenTek since the cost of the rural Houston fiber project is greater than any previous fiber project the company has done, said company officials, because this area has the most square miles of any area to which the company provides service. AcenTek was awarded a grant for $2,895,318, which will cover 30 percent of the total cost of the project, which is estimated at more than $9.6 million.

The project in rural Houston will positively impact residents at over 900 locations, including farms, residences and businesses. Once the fiber build is complete, farmers will have more opportunities for using technology within agriculture, employees of area medical facilities will have options for telecommuting, and students will have faster Internet speeds for research and study materials.

While faster internet is the biggest, most obvious benefit of a community being upgraded to fiber, it is not the only one, noted AcenTek officials. A fiber connection is more reliable than copper so customers can expect far less disruptions to AcenTek services during storms, they said. In addition, a community that offers future residents, and potential businesses, connectivity to fiber optics is more attractive, encouraging their relocating to the area. Fiber also increases the customers’ options for services, regardless of how remote their location.

“This year marks our 70th year in business. AcenTek is still here because of our customers,” Todd Roesler, CEO of AcenTek said.  “They have placed their trust in us to be their provider and, in return, we want to provide them with the very best service available. We know the best service means service via fiber. I’m thrilled that, with the help of this grant, we are able to begin the project that will bring fiber to our customers in rural Houston.”

Minnesota’s Border-to-Border Broadband Development Program helps providers expand the availability of high-speed internet across the state. More than $23 million dollars was awarded in grants by the program this year.