Challenges of a Community Network – Sibley County

Sibley County’s quest to consider a countywide, county-supported fiber optic network hit a bump in the road. As you may recall they held a meeting earlier this month where they discussed borrowing $63 million and repaying the bonds with revenue from the service. The stakeholders were given until the end of February to make some decisions about moving forward.

I’ve said before that no one follows the state of community broadband networks closer than Chris Mitchell at the Institute for Local Self Reliance. He is a great advocate of municipal/community broadband networks. Chris has recently published letters from Frontier Communications and Mark Erickson, the Winthrop City Administrator that offer a point-counterpoint views of the project.

Frontier Communications currently provides connectivity in the area. They are skeptical of the county’s business plan. Mark Erickson’s letter addresses Frontier’s concerns. You can read the letters in their entirety on the MuniNetworks web site.

I suspect that this issue will be discussed at the TISP meeting in February.

This entry was posted in Community Networks, MN, Policy, Rural by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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