What does broadband mean for Brainerd? More business!

The Institute for Local Self Reliance recently highlighted the importance of broadband to a rural community and the power of the long term investment a local cooperative broadband provider is able to make….

A recent Brainerd Dispatch article highlighted several businesses that credit the local workforce and the network for their decision to build satellite offices in the Brainerd area.

They include stories from various businesses that stayed or moved to the area, at least in part because of the available broadband.




In addition to “battle-tested sales people who can establish relationships with customers and can ‘close the deal,’” GovMint.com’s Director of Sales Jim Martin told the Dispatch:

Equally important is the area’s fiber optic network, a high-speed Internet connection that allows the sales staff to access the company’s giant customer and product database, and efficiently complete online sales forms.

Martin said the company relies on its computer system for call routing, customer information, online orders and sales leads that come through the Internet. GovMint.com’s sales staff makes 150-300 customer calls a day.

“The system has to be reliable or Jim’s phone starts ringing,” Martin said. “The service we have in Crosslake is very fast and very reliable.”

MN Department of Human Services…

The Minnesota Department of Human Services chose Brainerd for its service center in part because they needed access to a network that could handle its technology demands. Applications are processed digitally with high bandwidth applications that require access to large state databases. Fiber-optic technology is the obvious choice to handle the work efficiently. There are 160 employees now working in the state’s DHS service center.

Northern Tool+ Equipment 

Northern Tool + Equipment switched to a VoIP phone system and uses fiber connectivity for representatives to work from home. With online sales and 97 stores across the country, the ability to communicate to Pequot Lakes contact center staff must be fast and efficient.

“The fiber infrastructure is crucial to our operation,” said Todd Mouw, contact center operations manager. “We depend on the bandwidth not only for data processing capabilities but for our telephone infrastructure as well.”

Clow Stamping…

Clow Stamping, a local manufacturing firm, relies on the CTC network to send and receive data heavy files; for businesses, the ability to upload quickly and reliably is just as important as receiving downloads.

This entry was posted in economic development, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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