The Bluff Country News recently posted a very warm article about the local broadband provider in Spring Grove, MN…
They are the company where customers are owners and provided with up-to-date technology, broadband speeds and fiber optic cable.
Spring Grove Communications has played a huge role in Spring Grove, from volunteerism, donations and lending a hand to their staff’s knowledge of technology and ability to offer high speed broadband on fiber optic cable.
They talk about their reason for customer focus…
“The more successful the community is, the more successful the company will be,” General Manager/CEO Jill Fishbaugher said. “We need to do our part in the relationship.”
They talk about technology…
Perhaps two technologies that keep customers coming back for more is the company’s ability to provide high speed broadband over fiber optic cable.
Fiber optic cable is the technology that delivers the service from the Spring Grove Communications office to the home or user wherever they may be in the service area (while connected). Broadband is the internet that flows over that cable.
The company took on the fiber optic cable project in 2008, providing it to all corners of their service area, which is 100 square miles from Spring Grove. It puts the rural town of 1,330 people right up there with bigger cities like Winona, La Crosse and Rochester.
The more speed you have, the more you can do. One Netflix connection in a home requires five megabytes high-definition (HD). If you have
And current service…
Recently, Spring Grove Communications revamped their broadband packages to better fit different types of needs for families or individuals.
As of July 1, 2018, the monthly fee for 15 megabytes per second (Mbps) is $45, which includes both download and upload speeds; $60 for 30 Mbps; and $100 for 60 Mbps. They also offer bundle packages with phone and TV.
“We made our packages symmetrical with the same upload and download speed,” Fishbaugher said. “We have unlimited usage and we hope to remain that way. It’s a constant connection for a great price.”
The response so far has been positive, garnering new and returning customers. When the company first started providing broadband service, the speed was a whopping 1.5 Mbps.
And part of the community pay off…
The fast speeds have also called people back to the company, and to town. It’s enticing for young couples to have the option of high speed internet.
Spring Grove itself has grown quite a bit and returning residents may be surprised at the changes. With a cinema, swim center, fitness center, public library, grocery store, convenience store, restaurants, local shopping, event centers and many more places to offer, Spring Grove is thriving.
It’s an attractive place to work for those who desire a small town atmosphere.
Fiber optics and broadband was a large contributor to that progress, as it provides a strong connection for work, home, entertainment, gaming, homework and more.
“People love to make things better,” board member Alan Frydenlund said. “Fiber optics opened up the doors to do business.”
And life as a cooperative…
Through the co-op model, a potential for patronage credits go back to all members. Patronage credits are based on the income after expenses. Remaining income is allocated back to customers, which often comes on a two-year basis.
About $500,000 goes back into the community when customers purchase technology services from Spring Grove Communications, board member Jana Crickman said. The money is retired and goes back to the customers.
Last Fall I talked to five Minnesota communities and looked at how the community benefitted from (public) investment in broadband. Spring Grove customers are living the example. And the return for the company is happy customers/shareholders and the potential to grow the customer base by enticing new residents.