Federated Rural Electric’s Board of Directors approved the acquisition of Back 40 Wireless on Nov. 30.
Back 40 Wireless is a wireless internet company currently owned by Troy Rasmussen doing business from downtown Jackson. The transfer of ownership to Federated will take place on Dec. 31, with a formal closing on Jan. 7.
The business name will change to Federated Broadband at that time, and Back 40’s existing downtown location at 205 Second St. will close Dec. 31.
Back 40 Wireless provides rural internet service to Jackson, Cottonwood, Nobles, Martin, Murray and Brown counties in Minnesota, as well as Osceola, Dickinson and Emmet counties in Iowa.
“The new business plans include maintaining their great level of service, while expanding our services to reach the entire Federated service area and beyond if requested,” said Scott Reimer, Federated’s general manager. “Federated Broadband will operate independently from the electric utility operations, as a self-sustaining business.”
They are making plans for expansion…
“We will continue working on applying for grants and loans for deploying fiber optic internet in the future for Federated members in both counties,” said David Hansen, Federated Board president. “In fact, the Board approved hiring a consulting firm Dec. 6 to submit Federated’s application for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Reconnect grant and loan program to cover fiber broadband. This application deadline is Feb. 22.”
Federated has experience with providing internet service, as the co-op has offered Wild Blue satellite internet since 2012, which became Exede satellite service. The remaining Federated satellite customers will be offered the faster service through Federated Broadband.
Federated is a Touchstone Energy cooperative serving 6,800 members in Jackson and Martin counties.