Hoeven Continuing Efforts to Expand Rural Broadband, Support Growth of North Dakota’s Tech Sector

Senator Marks Grand Opening of Midco Data Center in Fargo

FARGO, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today helped celebrate the grand opening of Midco’s Tier III data center. The $12 million facility will provide secure data storage for a wide variety of businesses, including the growing unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry in the Red River Valley. Further, the center will serve as an important piece of infrastructure to help attract companies to North Dakota from around the country.

“North Dakota has seen tremendous growth in its tech sector, and supporting technology entrepreneurship remains a top priority,” said Hoeven. “We need IT infrastructure, like this data center, in order to meet the demands of modern industry. For instance, conducting inspections with UAS, whether it’s for crops, electrical lines or wind towers, produces a large amount of data. We need to have the capacity to move that data through local networks, regardless of where the operations are taking place. That’s why we’ve worked hard to expand our investments in rural broadband. These efforts will help ensure our state can continue compete with anyone, anywhere in the world.”

The new data center dovetails with Hoeven’s efforts to promote robust investment in information technology infrastructure in North Dakota. To this end, the senator has worked to advance the following priorities:

Expanding USDA Rural Broadband Programs

Through his role as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven helped secure $600 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 for a new loan and grant program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to spur investment in broadband for rural and hard-to-serve areas. Further, he worked to ensure the Senate’s FY2019 Agriculture-FDA funding legislation, which the chamber recently passed, continues strong support for this and other rural broadband programs. 

Providing Flexible Funding Sources for Infrastructure

Hoeven has also reintroduced his Move America Act, bipartisan legislation that would provide tax credits and tax-exempt bonds to help grow and repair the country’s infrastructure. Qualified projects include roads, bridges, transit, ports, rail, airports, water and sewer facilities and rural broadband. 

Coordinating Federal Rural Broadband Efforts

In addition, Hoeven has introduced a bipartisan bill to create an Office of Rural Broadband at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ensure that all federal agencies with jurisdiction over rural broadband work together. This will help coordinate efforts to improve and sustain broadband services in rural areas and maximize the impact of federal funding.