The state of Minnesota has awarded Paul Bunyan Communications the Border-to-Border Broadband grant to expand fiber optic services to three different counties.
The expansion will cost $1.78 million, with Paul Bunyan Communications contributing $980,990, and the state Border-to-Border grant covering $802,620. The plan should be finalized by the spring and construction will start this summer. Paul Bunyan Communications projects the build-out will be completed by June 2020.
Rural Minnesota Gets Better Connected
The Border-to-Border Fund was created by the Minnesota state legislature back in 2014. The goal is to help make the financial case for providers to invest in building infrastructure into unserved and underserved areas of the state.
Many underserved areas of the state have included the Border-to-Border grants in their planning process and as a pivotal part of their expansion models. The financial boon from the state has proved successful for many communities. RS Fiber Cooperative has been successfully connecting towns and rural areas in Sibley and Renville County, and they recently announced a gigabit residential connection at no additional cost for subscribers. It’s also attracting investment and industry, explained Mark Erickson in a recent report, citing the forthcoming medical school being built in Gaylord:
"We have that opportunity because of the Fiber-to-the-Home network. Without it, no medical school."
Paul Bunyan Communications Cooperative has already made massive strides in providing high-speed access to large swaths of northern Minnesota. Paul Bunyan’s GigaZone reaches more than 29,400 locations, covering more than 5,000 square miles in Beltrami County, also reaching areas of Cass, Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, and St. Louis Counties.
The ever-... Read more