Tomorrow is a big day for folks in Sibley County – especially for folks who live in the outskirts of town, between towns or the back and beyond. Tomorrow the Sibley County Commissioners vote on whether or not to be part of the RS Fiber Network, which will bring fiber to the area. The vote was slated for a couple of weeks ago but was postponed.
Many of the area cities have voted to be part of the network; Renville County has also voted in. Arlington has voted not to participate.
Minnesota Public Radio highlighted the potential impact on rural residents – some of which are still using dialup connections…
Linda Kramer and her family grow corn, soy beans, even a little wheat. The family’s farm is on 1,100 acres in rural Sibley County, about 85 miles southwest of the Twin Cities.
Kramer pays about $60 per month for Internet access that by today’s standards is archaic.
“My husband on the farm needs to send files… He’ll throw them in an email, send it out, let it run overnight, come back in the morning and two-thirds of them haven’t gone through,” Kramer said.
They talk about the community support – as demonstrated by local residents signing up for service…
So far, over 50 percent of the residents said they would take some combination of phone, Internet or cable TV service from the broadband project. In parts of rural Sibley County it’s closer to 80 percent of residents.
The meeting begins at 10 am tomorrow; the vote is expected to happen soon after the meeting begins.