Thanks to Julie Foote at MVTV Wireless for sending an update on the progress of their ARRA-funded network…
Federal stimulus project delivers internet service to un-served and underserved communities in southwest Minnesota
In March 2010, MVTV Wireless of Granite Falls, MN was awarded federal stimulus funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Since then MVTV has been hard at work upgrading and expanding their system in accordance with the stimulus project.
According to MVTV Wireless President, Dan Richter, “Only about 8% of the population of the United States does not have high-speed Internet, but it’s almost all in rural areas. We were awarded this funding through ARRA because rural areas in southwest Minnesota were deemed un-served or underserved.”
“Now, the terms un-served or underserved does not mean there aren’t Internet service providers out there, what’s happening is people need higher speeds.” Richter said. “Our goal is to give customers more choices by providing better service. We’re excited to help make high-speed Internet more accessible for people in southwest Minnesota.”
There are 3 main sections to the MVTV ARRA stimulus project.
- Upgrade the current system: MVTV Wireless has completed all 11 upgrades to areas within their existing system. The upgrades have quadrupled backhaul capacity.
- Expand service coverage: The plan calls for 34 new sites to be built in communities that were previously un-served or under-served. As of today MVTV Wireless has completed the required expansion and continues growing with a current total of 39 new access locations added.
- Service new customers: Lastly the ARRA project calls on MVTV to add an additional minimum 1500 new subscribers within the expansion area. So far MVTV Wireless has completed 500 qualified installations and continues to grow rapidly, completing 100+ new installs per month.
One of ARRA’s main objectives is to stimulate economic growth through job creation. Due to the expansion, through the ARRA project, MVTV has grown to employ 16 full-time positions. To meet the needs of a growing customer base MVTV has added 5 new service technicians, 2 new customer service members and an operations manager in the last 12 months.
While so many funded projects have yet to get off the ground, MVTV Wireless is excited to say they have fulfilled almost all of the ARRA expectations and hope to finish by the end of 2012, well ahead of its original end date of May 31, 2013. Most of all, MVTV Wireless is proud to have the opportunity to expand broadband coverage to help serve more of rural Southern and Southwestern Minnesota.
More information about MVTV Wireless can be found on their website, www.mvtvwireless.com.