The Lac qui Parle County Economic Development Authority (EDA) has received a $25,000.00 grant from the Blandin Foundation to prepare a Robust Broadband Network Feasibility Study for an Ultra-High Speed fiber optic network across Lac qui Parle County in partnership with Farmer’s Mutual Telephone Company. Lac qui Parle County EDA has retained the services of U-reka Broadband Ventures of Stillwater, MN to prepare the study. “The Lac qui Parle EDA is very excited to explore the possibility of bringing fiber-to-the-premise technology to all of Lac qui Parle County. This network will be an economic development driver and make us competitive locally, regionally and worldwide”, said Pam Lehmann of the Lac qui Parle EDA.
U-reka Broadband will assist in developing the Engineering, Operational and Market Development plan for the feasibility study over the next two months. The study will be the basis for an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) application for federal stimulus dollars. “U-reka Broadband is pleased to be able to assist the Lac qui Parle County EDA working in conjunction with Lac qui Parle County and Farmer’s Mutual Telephone Company in developing an infrastructure that will not only make them competitive today but also in the future, we commend the public-private partnership being developed between the parties”.
John Schultz from U-reka Broadband was good enough to tell me a little bit more about the plan, “This network is logical for many reasons, first from a technology standpoint it leverages the already substantial investment that Farmers Mutual has made in bringing fiber-to-the-premise to its existing subscriber base. Second it is logical as there is no necessity to build a new set of voice, video and ISP infrastructure to support this new customer base. Third is the reasoning that both parties realize that working together can bring a more effective and economically viable network. Instead of fighting between municipalities and service providers these two see the value in collaboration”.