The Pipestone Star reports…
An estimated 135 Pipestone County households that did not previously have access to broadband internet now do following the completion of a nearly $1 million project by Woodstock Communications.
The project included the installation of about 20 miles of fiber optic cable, two new communications towers — one in Altona Township and one in Eden Township — and the installation of equipment on two existing towers near Trosky and north of Pipestone. Terry Nelson, general manager for Woodstock Communications, said the project was completed around Aug. 1.
Internet through the new hybrid fiber and wireless system exceeds the federal definition of broadband internet, which is 25 megabits (Mbps) downloading and 3 Mbps uploading, in most areas. Nelson said the wireless internet service can provide internet speeds up to 50 Mbps downloading and 25 Mbps uploading within about six miles of the towers. …
In addition to the 135 households, the expanded broadband service is expected to make high speed internet service available to 540 previously unserved businesses and one unserved community anchor institution, the Altona Township Hall.
Woodstock Communications received a $363,851 Border-to-Border Broadband Grant from the state of Minnesota in the fall of 2017 to pay for a portion of the cost of the project. The project was expected to be completed and providing service late last year, but Nelson said the project was delayed by the permitting process and the weather this past spring.
Now that it’s complete, Nelson said the company is testing the services with about a dozen customers. It then plans to begin marketing the service more broadly in the next few weeks.