Thanks to John Shepard for the heads up on a local article in the Jackson Pilot (correction – Cottonwood County Citizen) (Nov 23, 2011) that highlights latest broadband activity in Southwest Minnesota. The sound bite – they are cooking! According to the article Windomnet is six months ahead of schedule with fiber; they hope to get 1100 homes connected before the big winter freeze. It sounds as if Heron Lake and Lakefield are getting connected right now.
Also the Southwest Minnesota Broadband Group (SMBG) is fine tuning their fiber to the home services and are hoping to test in the field as early as next week with a hope to getting families fully up and running by mid-December. Fiber services will offer triple play services (Internet, cable, TV).
SMBG is also testing some wireless options in the area and again hope to pilot some connections in the upcoming weeks. Wireless customers, however, will only have access to Internet services through their connection. A successful wireless product would open SMBG to quicker expansion. It sounds as if there are plenty of residents just outside the original fiber territory who have been clamoring for SMBG to come into their areas.
The article also points out that the project has had an economic impact on the area with up to 70 people doing installations at peak times; that number is expected to decrease to 30 once the ground freezes.