The Daily Globe has posted more info on the Nobles County project that has received a Minnesota state broadband grant. There are (at least) two things interesting about the project. It involves a cooperative and a hybrid solution that involves a wireless and fiber solution..
Lismore Cooperative Telephone Co. received a $2.94 million grant to create a hybrid fiber and wireless network that will eventually bring high-speed internet to the entire county. The co-op matched the $2.94 million grant one-to-one, creating a total project cost of $5,889,156.
The project entails square 500 miles in new wireless coverage, distributed through five towers. The co-op will also install over 82 miles of fiber optic cable. Wilmont and Leota will be built out completely with fiber as well as businesses and homes along the fiber transport route.
DEED estimates the project will serve 469 households, 1,060 businesses and six community anchor institutions — such as schools, libraries, medical providers and public safety entities — across Nobles County that currently do not have broadband access.
Work will begin in the summer, as the service provider will have contractors bid to plow fiber. Bill Loonan, Lismore Cooperative Telephone’s general manager, said the company would lay down a fiber backbone by next year, but couldn’t say when the entirety of Nobles County would have access to high-speed internet.
Wireless coverage will initially reach speeds of 25 Mbps, while homes or businesses close enough to the fiber trail will have the option to use speeds up to 1 gigabit.