Scott County was thrilled to learn recently that Jaguar Communications, which has partnered with the County for several years, was awarded a $192,405 broadband grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to help fill the gaps in rural broadband services in the Sand Creek Township area.
In 2007, Scott County funded the development of a 90-mile fiber optic ring that connected cities and school districts to high-speed broadband service, and later entered into agreements with several private providers -- including Jaguar -- to enable the County’s fiber backbone to be used in improving underserved areas of the County. The Sand Creek Township Area Broadband Project, when complete, will be providing service to 118 households, 18 businesses, and three community anchor institutions in this township area by constructing fiber directly to these premises.
Through this funding partnership with the state of Minnesota, Jaguar will improve broadband service levels up to 1 Gbps down and 1 Gbps up, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. This project, which will involve a $300,941 local match, will connect residents and businesses to a redundant, stable, substantial fiber optic ring, creating pathways to fully participate in today’s digital society and economy.
“Projects like this, that improve services in more rural underserved areas, have always been uppermost in our minds as we have worked with private providers,” said Scott County Administrator Gary Shelton, who led the County’s initial fiber optic investment efforts and has actively sought to expand its access. “We couldn’t be more pleased that the state of Minnesota, through DEED, is now actively supporting these efforts through its grant funding.”