Merry Xmas from Paul Bunyan: Better broadband for MN service areas

Fun news for the folks that are getting better broadband…

 (Bemidji, MN) (December 13, 2013) – Paul Bunyan Communications has increased Broadband Internet speeds to members, doubling the current speeds of service offered with no increase to the monthly service rate.  In addition, higher speeds up to 150 Mbps are also now available, the cooperative announced today.

Standard Internet speed for Paul Bunyan high-speed customers starts now with up to 20 megabits per second (Mbps) for both uploads and downloads with higher speeds available.

“Broadband Internet in rural areas is certainly a hot political topic right now at the state and national level,” said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager, “the areas served by our cooperative have had access to high speed Internet as early as 1998 and as we continue to improve on the region’s largest all fiber optic network we’ve been able to increase the level of service to our members.  Just four years ago we increased Internet speeds for customers with no rate increase and now we’re doing it again.  It reflects our cooperative’s commitment to bring the latest in technology to our service areas as soon as we possibly can.  We know it’s important to keep our communities competitive in the local, state, national, and global marketplace.”

“There are not many places in the United States where speeds up to 150 Mbps are available.  We are very proud to continue to put our members and communities at the forefront in getting the most advanced Broadband Internet speeds available” said Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.

Since the late 1990s, Paul Bunyan Communications has been installing fiber optics that makes it feasible to deliver higher speed broadband Internet along with advanced television services including high-definition, whole-home DVR, PBTV Everywhere and Video on Demand.  In that process, over $100 million has been invested in the cooperative’s service area through upgrades and expansion.

“We are a local cooperative and are committed to providing the very best communication services to our members, regardless of their location” said Steve Howard, Paul Bunyan Communications Data Service Manager, “The State of Minnesota has set the goal to have Broadband Internet speeds of at least 10 Mbps downloads and 5 Mbps uploads by 2015.  Not only have we reached this level of service two years in advance, but the speeds we are now providing are two to four times faster than the goals set.  There is no digital divide in our area, the services we provide meet and in most cases exceed those of the biggest cities in the country.”

“Paul Bunyan Communications recognized early on the importance of having Broadband high speed Internet access.  We were the first high speed Internet provider in nearly all of the areas we serve and continue to upgrade the service to provide even higher Internet speeds,” added Johnson.

Paul Bunyan Communications Cooperative has been offering the latest in communication services to Northern Minnesota since 1952. The service area currently spans over 4,500 square miles throughout most of Beltrami County and portions of Cass, Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, and St. Louis County.  Paul Bunyan Communications services include local and long distance phone service, Internet services, television services, and more.  Service availability depends upon location, some restrictions may apply.

This entry was posted in MN, Rural, Vendors 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.

1 thought on “Merry Xmas from Paul Bunyan: Better broadband for MN service areas

  1. Congratulations to the leadership and staff of Paul Bunyan Communications! This is really exciting news, both for the ubiquitous 20 Mbps standard service offering, but also the higher speed available for those who need it or are willing to pay for it. As a co-op, all of PBT’s profits are either reinvested in the network or go back to members.

    Recently I attended a conference on co-ops. Here is a link to the video highlights of that event. It might be worth considering forming a co-op as a way to bring broadband that meets state goals to your community and area!

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