A deeper dive on the Border to Border grant in City of Cook From Paul Bunyan Communications…
Paul Bunyan Communications has been awarded a Border to Border Broadband Grant from the State of Minnesota to help share the costs of expanding its fiber optic services to portions of the City of Cook and the surrounding area in St. Louis County.
The project is estimated to cost $691,675, with the State of Minnesota’s Border to Border grant contributing $311,254, the City of Cook investing $8,000 and Paul Bunyan Communications investing $380,421.
“We are excited to continue our efforts to bring gigabit broadband Internet to those currently without reliable Internet access in our region. Thanks to the State of Minnesota’s Border to Border Broadband Grant Program we will be able to expand access to the GigaZone™ to over 300 additional locations in the area extending one of the largest rural gigabit networks in the country even further!” said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.
“This is the news our community has been waiting to hear for a long time. We’ve seen and heard what those with access to Paul Bunyan’s network can do – virtually anything they want and fast! We could not be more excited to help bring this essential service to our community. It will take time to complete the project but finally we know the finish line is in sight.” said Harold Johnston, Mayor, City of Cook. Paul Bunyan Communications expects to finalize the expansion plans by spring of 2022 and will contact locations along the upcoming expansion routes shortly thereafter. Construction will start in the summer of 2022 with services expected to be available by spring of 2023.
“This is a huge service improvement for everyone in the project area. The pandemic has proven to be especially challenging to people who don’t have true high speed internet available at their home or business. As more and more students and employees work from home, many people are learning how critical upload speed is for their job or school work. Unlike many other providers, our speeds are symmetric, the same speeds are available for upload and download. This will be a game changer for
the residents of Cook.” added Steve Howard, Paul Bunyan Communications Information Technology and Development Manager. “Access to high quality, affordable Internet has been our focus at the cooperative since 1999. Our team has built a world class all-fiber optic network and now we are will be bringing it to the City of Cook.” said Howard.
“I must salute the hard work of our elected officials who have championed the Border to Border Broadband Grant Program. I want to thank all of them and also the Office of Broadband Development that administers the program. This makes a world of difference in so many ways to a lot of people right here in northern Minnesota!” said Johnson.
The cooperative’s services will become available once the network is operational including GigaZone™ Internet with its unprecedented broadband speeds of up to 1000 Mbps – a Gigabit, and low cost unlimited local and long distance GigaZone™ voice telephone service. There is no membership fee to join Paul Bunyan Communications, membership is included by subscribing to either local phone service or GigaZone™ Internet service.