This could be great news for Pine City, at least starting in 2017! The Pine City Pioneer reports…
At the Dec. 17 city council meeting, MidContinent Communications announced that it plans to bring “gigabit internet” to the Pine City area by the end of 2017. The new service is 35 times faster than the national average and five times faster than MidContinent’s current top speeds.
MidContinent’s Director of Governmental Affairs Dan Nelson noted that bandwidth usage by the company’s customers doubles every 15 months, and the new service will provide Pine City with another valuable tool to attract innovators and position the community as a welcoming place for technology.
Pine City is part of the East Central Broadband Initiative that has been working to get better broadband in the area for several years. So it’s good news. Hopefully “Pine City area” will include areas outside the city limits; if it doesn’t the area will be left with the Swiss Cheese infrastructure we’ve seen in other areas – where the more densely populated areas get service and areas with lower population density do not. This often makes the business case for serving the outskirts of a city or town even more economically difficult.
The timeline for the upgrade caught my eye too – 2017. It’s only two years away – cold comfort if you live in an unserved market, but again two years isn’t as long as it used to be. I’ve heard providers say that the natural move is to upgrade as repairs and updates are required anyways. “It’s future proof.” Are we reaching a timeframe where those upgrades are required?