Arvig offers advice for communities looking to partner with broadband providers

Minneapolis St Paul Business Journal posts a column from Arvig, fist outlining some of the funding opportunities open to communities…

Arvig is one internet service provider (ISP) in Minnesota that is actively working to address that challenge, and new funding opportunities are now available to be the boost that cities, counties and townships need to get crucial broadband infrastructure projects off and running.

The American Rescue Plan, signed by Congress in March 2021, contains billions of dollars in funding programs specifically for broadband development and improvement projects. Two of those major programs – one of several within the massive $1.9 trillion bill – are the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund and the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF).

The Capital Projects Fund includes $10 billion to fund projects – in rural, low- and moderate- income, and Tribal communities – that help to ensure access to high-quality modern broadband infrastructure to access critical services.

The SLFRF contains $350 billion for state, local and Tribal governments to invest in, among other things, projects that expand affordable access to high-speed internet.

Arvig offers a few questions to ask potential partners…

  1. Can you offer local service and support?

The value of a locally based, readily available and technically proficient support staff shouldn’t be underestimated. Problems sometimes arise, and when things go wrong, it can be both inconvenient and costly. Having access to 24/7/365 customer service and technical support teams will streamline the process of addressing issues and restoring your service in a timely manner. Can you reach your ISP anytime by phone or live chat? Are technicians able to be on-site when you need them? Is the support team local? All of these are important considerations.

  1. Can you provide future-proof bandwidth options?

Ask your ISP about bandwidth capabilities that account for current and future needs alike. The right ISP can design a network with service that will continuously meet the needs of homes and businesses in the community. Fiber is cost effective, fast and future-proof. Fiber provides the greatest ability to size your connection for your needs today, and quickly and easily add additional bandwidth in the future. Arvig’s fiber network, for example, can provide speeds of up to 100 Gigabits per second.

  1. Can you offer in-house construction?

Constructing fiber and cable networks is a complex process. No matter the size and scope of a project, there are plans to develop, permits to secure and building resources to allocate. Service providers with in-house construction teams can streamline all of those processes, eliminating the need to deal with separate vendors and multiple invoices. Does your provider have the resources to work with you from pre-construction, to planning to budgeting, all the way to project completion. There is serious value to finding a service provider that can do it all.

This entry was posted in Building Broadband Tools, Funding, MN, Vendors by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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