Cook County learns from Windom on Feb 10

Dan Olsen, Windomnet’s operations manager, will be in Cook County to deliver two talks on Thursday, February 10. He’ll speak at Arrowhead Electric at 11 am and at the Courthouse at 2 pm. (Apparently you can get more info from Cook County Higher Education.)

You can get a quick preview on the WTIP web site where they have posted an interview with Dan Olsen and WTIP’s Jay Andersen. Windomnet has been providing high speed Internet to Windom for five years. Dan spoke about how Wondomnet had been a cable provider before shifting to a fiber network. When it came time to look at upgrades, they decided to jump to fiber and were one of the first in the country to do so. Now through a partnership with ARRA-funded Southwest Minnesota Broadband Services, they are looking to expand their reach.

Cook County finds itself in a potentially similar position now that Arrowhead Electric has ARRA-funding for fiber. I think the folks are very wise to invite Windomnet to come in. With any luck that will streamline the process for Cook County and help get potential broadband users on board early.

Dan had a nice remark in the interview that I tried to capture below…

High speed Internet is a groundswell movement one you have it, it’s hard to live without it once you have it in this global economy.

It sounds as if the deployment of fiber is on track in Cook County. According to the Arrowhead Electric site

Starting on or about Monday, January 17, 2011 field crews will begin the walk out and initial design of Arrowhead Electric Cooperative’s community fiber optic project in the Grand Marais area. The walkout of the Grand Marais PUC service area should be completed in less than two weeks’ time. Completion of the Grand Marais area signals the end of the walk out and initial design process in the field across all of Cook County.

Concurrent with field walk out is the design and engineering process. Tentatively, this is scheduled to be completed around March 1, 2011. Engineering will be followed by request for proposals for general contracting. An initial request for information was released on Monday, January 10th, 20011.

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