I want to thank Darrell in Aitkin County for writing up his experience getting community WiFI set up in Palisade and for Scott from SCI for sharing some added info. It’s a nice example of public-private partnership at a very local level.
Palisade is a rural community with few options for high-speed connectivity. The only wired internet connection is via DSL through the local telephone provider. Satellite is available but we have found it has the propensity to go disconnect due to weather situations and has limited bandwidth to support hot-spot activity.
After much investigation, we found an existing solution. Savage Communications Inc. (SCI) has fiber in place near the downtown area. After several conversations with them, we were able to negotiate the construction project to bring fiber to the City Hall.
One of the considerations was that the community of Palisade wasn’t going to provide free internet or go into business of offering internet to the downtown area businesses.
There were scheduling issues to begin with as SCI was working other larger project in the county. By October 2017, the fiber was connected and that portion of the Wi-Fi hotspot project was complete and the rest of the process could proceed.
Talk about great connectivity, the speed for upload and download is slated at 100 Mbps. Now the Wi-Fi hotspot and community reading room are ready for the next phases of their respective projects.
SCI currently has fiber to the business available in Palisade and they plan to have residential services available by the end of 2018. (This is a privately funded project for SCI.)