HBC and Winona County Announce $2.6 Million Rural Broadband Expansion Project

Good news from HBC

Hundreds of rural Winona County homes currently struggling with broadband access, will soon be connected to high-speed broadband. Hiawatha Broadband Communications, Inc. (HBC) and Winona County (MN) are working together again to bring broadband service to some of the most rural areas of the county.

Construction of the $2.6 million project will begin this spring with fiber-optic broadband services being brought to the Sylvan Heights, Saratoga, Big Trout Drive, Spillway Drive, and the Arches areas in Winona County. The project will bring high-speed fiber-optic broadband to 200 homes, many with school aged children, that have been severely challenged by the lack of broadband service.

“Broadband is a major key to education, economic, and life-style requirements going forward,” HBC president Dan Pecarina said. “Providing the opportunity for children to fully participate on a level playing field is the number one challenge for those in rural parts of the country. In addition, more and more job opportunities are becoming flexible which allows people to work from home.”

This is not the first time HBC and Winona County have collaborated to expand broadband in the county. Since 2016, the two entities have worked together to bring broadband to eight rural areas, including East Burns Valley, Cedar Valley, Pickwick, Ridgeway, Wilson, Witoka, Whitewater, and Elba. These projects have brought broadband to nearly 3,000 rural homes in Winona County that previously lacked broadband service.

This new fiber optic network is expected to be completed in the second half of the year. Gigabit broadband speeds will start being activated by the end of August. All areas will have access before the end of the year.



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