Monticello’s municipal network FiberNet is 15 years old – catch up with them via ILSR

From the unique pronunciation of Monticello (think “sello” not “chello”), the town has never been afraid to stand out. Institute for Local Self Reliance’s Chris Mitchell talks to City Planner Jeff O’Neill about FiberNet, Monticello’s municipal network. It has been the subject of talk since it started 15 years ago. Spoiler alert, it’s going well, especially in the time of COVID. Here’s the description of the conversation from ILSR -and know that it’s a fun quick listen…

Christopher and Jeff delve into the history and development of the network over the last fifteen years. They discuss how business leaders began calling for the city to look for a solution to poor Internet speeds all the way back in 2005, why the city ultimately decided to build its own network, and how FiberNet persevered in the face of an early lawsuit so that incumbent provider TDS could slow competition as it began its own fiber buildout. Jeff and Chris then talk about the network subsequently weathering a vicious price war with Charter Spectrum which contributed to the fracturing of its relationship with early partner Hiawatha Broadband, but which also brought significant savings and better customer service from incumbent providers to everyone in town.

They end by discussing the multitude of community benefits realized today by having three competing providers in Monticello — two offering Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) in the city of 14,000 — and what it means for community savings and economic development for the city moving forward. Jeff ends by sharing some of the work he’s most proud of being involved in and what he sees as important for FiberNet in the years ahead.

Crow Wing Power on broadband updates in Crow Wing, Morrison, Cass and Aitkin Counties

In their most recent newsletter, Crow Wing Power spoke with local providers about broadband upgrades and expansion in the area, often spurred by great need in COVID.

From CTC…

  • Kristi [Westbrock, CTC CEO] explained that in mid-March, the company scrambled to extend finer to where it was needed and where they could reasonably expand, so students could have access to Internet for distance learning. It’s estimated that their efforts in the Brainerd ISD 101 school district provided broadband access to approximately 200 families in the region and set up 50 hot spots where kid cluster could go to study.
  • In 2019, CTC received an $830,587 MN Border to Border grant from the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to expand services to build to Ft. Ripley, and other areas in Crow Wing and Morrison Counties. This allowed CTC to build to 399 homes in portions of St. Mathias and Fort Ripley Townships, as well.
  • “Most recently, CTC received CARES Act funding from both Crow Wing and Cass County to build broadband to unserved areas of Welton Road, County Rd 10, Border Lake, Little Pine Road and unserved areas in Lake Edward Township. The funds must be used by December 1 so these locations will have access to fiber Internet.

From Emily Cooperative Telephone Company…

  • Five hot spots were also installed throughout the communities, which are still available. Josh [ECTC CEO] said they are updating 100 homes in the Crosslake area to finer services and reviewing other areas for 2021. ECTC also received a MN DEED grant of $376,000 to build fiber services to the Esquagamah and Round Lake area in Aitkin County.

Midco brings fiber to Scandia (Washington County) with MN broadband grant

The Country Messenger reports…

Midco is furthering its mission to bring broadband services to areas of Minnesota that are unserved or underserved. A ribbon cutting is scheduled for Sept. 16 in which the City and Midco will celebrate the communications company’s expansion of its Internet services.

“I’m impressed with the expediency in which Midco has implemented its Internet expansion in Scandia.  From the award of the grant at the end of January, Midco is on schedule to complete this project by the end of October,” said Scandia City Council Member Patti Ray. “I’m also grateful to Midco adding even more homes to the project. This shows what a good corporate partner Midco is to Scandia. The City looks forward to working with Midco on future expansions because it takes a strong government/corporate partnership to cover the costly installation of high-speed Internet in rural Scandia.”

Some details from the project…

In January, Midco was awarded a grant through the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program, allowing the communications company to expand services in five different parts of Scandia.

The broadband network project will improve access to critical e-learning applications and health care resources enable telecommuting options for residents and make businesses and city institutions more efficient. Midco’s high-speed broadband connection will exceed Minnesota’s 2026 speed goal.

Waukenabo Township Is upgrading to 100 Mbps (Aitkin County)

The Aitkin Age reports…

On Aug. 27, residents of Waukenabo Township and nearby areas gathered at the Waukenabo Town Hall to celebrate the beginning of a new broadband project.

The project was delayed because of COVID but it’s on track now and they are looking at some serious speeds in the near future…

Midwest Utilities is installing the main line, and Zenergy, Inc. will be doing the drops to individual homes, starting on the west side of Equagamah Lake. Future expansion is anticipated.

“Right now, ECTC is only offering a 100 MB service,” said [Crosslake Communications/ECTC General Manager] Netland. “We expect to have 100 drops installed within three weeks.”

Co-op board members Norman (Rusty) Hawley, Ken Hersey, Kathy Hachey, Phil Yetzer and Randy Moritz were present at the groundbreaking ceremony. Netland and project team members Tyson Kincaid (plant supervisor), Kirsten Peterson (accounts) and Debby Floerchinger responded to questions from stakeholders.

Dickinson talked about the $375,000 Border to Border Broadband grant that ECTC received to help with the project.

Rock County chat: broadband made work, school and healthcare seamless during COVID

Looking at the map from the Office of Broadband Development (OBD), Rock County is green throughout, which means they are served with speeds of at least 100 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up. As Superintendent Todd said, they are like Little House on the Prairie with broadband. And that level of broadband means the pandemic is an inconvenience but not a stopper.

I spoke with librarian Calla Jarvie, Kyle Oldre at the county, Superintendents Todd Holthaus and Craig Oftedahl and Jane Lanphere at the Luverne Chamber of Commerce. I could keep this quick and say I asked if broadband was a help or a hindrance – they said help, dropped mic and left the room. Everyone had heard stories from other counties but in Rock County, they are set.

What’s the difference in Rock County? They have fiber to the home. They ranked number one for county coverage of broadband at speeds of 100 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up with 99.93 percent having access. They have received two MN Broadband Border to Border grants. [Addition – one grant was for $5 million and they county put in $1 million; the other had a smaller impact on the county becuase they were part of a 20-county middle mile project with an MVTV grant award.] The primary provider is a cooperative, Broadband Alliance, which attendees at the meeting today made sure to call out for their support.

So what does that mean? In Kyle’s house it means that his wife (a media specialist with a local school) and two sons (one home from college and one in high school) could all work online at the same time. They could even stream music while they did it. It really means everyone who could work online (based on their job requirements) could do it from home – no matter where they lived in the county.

The schools had a handful of students without access but that was a device and/or affordability problem. So they worked with the provider to get lower cost access. They worked with a local grant and with PCs for People to make sure everyone had a computer. As most of us will remember in March, schools had two weeks to prepare to move classes online due to the pandemic. That was enough time for Rock County to get the infrastructure ready because the work was minimal – but as someone pointed out, you can’t get fiber to everyone in two weeks.

The schools used Zoom to host classes and Schoology as a Learning Management System. They didn’t need to worry about paper packs for those without access. They are waiting to hear whether they will have class in person, distance or a hybrid – but it sounds like a likely solution will be in-person for grade schoolers and hybrid for high schoolers. They are prepared for the handful of folks who want to opt for online and for any changes in the plan based on COVID changes.

The libraries are open now, but even during the shutdown they were able to offer ebooks and special read-aloud events via Facebook.

Healthcare has moved online, which has been a boon. With changes in policy and reimbursement, nearly everyone has moved to online care. That has opened the door to greater mental healthcare coverage as counselors can now be located anywhere. It has improved privacy and has been a time saving for patients and their loved ones.

Civic engagement has never been easier, as county commission and other meetings have moved online. That makes it easier for citizens and county employees to pop in and see what’s going on.

Local businesses are doing well too. For many businesses it’s just been a matter of moving folks to work from home. For retail and restaurants, it’s been a matter of using online channels to sell and promote their business. Apparently one restaurant has done well promoting take-and-bake meals. And more and more local businesses are using social media.

Broadband has kept folks living facilities, such a nursing homes, in touch with each other and the outside world. It’s been a social lifeline to seniors who have otherwise had strict COVID quarantine rules in place. And that social connection is essential.

Everyone talked about how having sufficient broadband has allowed them to collaborate and innovate. They are living the future! It was fun to talk about the things that we’re glad to see change – like the option to work at home, telehealth and civic engagement. We’d all like schools and restaurants to open but recognize that life can continue seamlessly until they do.

They have had inquiries from potential new residents, including some from the Cities. When you’re top of the chart for broadband, you can attract people from anywhere.

CNS acquires WCTG creating unified state-wide fiber network

Big news from CNS

– Cooperative Network Services, LLC (CNS), a Minnesota fiber-optic transport carrier announced today that it has purchased the assets of West Central Transport Group, LLC (WCTG), a major fiber network in west central and southern Minnesota.

The deal will increase the CNS backbone network to a total of 2,500 route miles of fiber, and including partner assets, brings the network total to 10,200 route miles of fiber and 40,000 on-net/lit buildings.

Combining the assets of these two networks will enable MN’s rural telecom and broadband providers to deliver increasingly advanced services faster.

“This acquisition fits perfectly with the CNS purpose of Bringing More Broadband to More Rural Places… it creates new opportunities for success for many rural MN independent telecom providers, ensuring they have access to essential network services, and that they have a stake in the transport business for the future,” said Jason Dale, CNS CEO. “As technology and rural transport economics have changed, it’s clear that a unified state-wide network is a key ingredient to remaining relevant in the transport world. By combining these two complimentary networks, we’ve taken a huge step forward. We are extremely excited for this new chapter.”

The decision for combining these networks was an obvious one since eight of the owners of WCTG are also CNS owners, and the two networks have a long history of partnering together. These relationships will lend themselves to a quick transition, and early growth opportunities. The WCTG network will operate under the CNS subsidiary Fiber Minnesota, LLC.

“WCTG felt the CNS team was the perfect choice to continue meeting the needs of customers and neighbors,” said Jake Anderson, President of WCTG. “We are excited for the opportunities and crucial connectivity our combined networks will bring to the state of Minnesota and beyond.”

Similar to surrounding states

Minnesota’s fiber transport landscape has long been made up of smaller regional networks, but as technology has progressed, so too is the need for a larger, unified network.

For years, Minnesota has differed from neighboring states, where the independent telephone/ broadband providers joined forces decades ago to create statewide networks – enjoying robust facilities and advanced centralized solutions.

“This is a big win for the independent telecom providers in MN,” said Dean Bahls, CNS’ Network Manager. “The increased footprint will provide direct connectivity to more CNS owner companies, as well as connectivity to many more on-net customers throughout large portions of the state.”

The CNS Network currently uses Cisco NCS2K/15454 ROADM and has a proven track record of uptime. The newly acquired network also uses the same platform and will mesh together seamlessly.

Streamlined quoting and turn-up

With the increase of on-net route miles, quoting circuits will be faster, and pricing will be more competitive. Customers will enjoy highly available services, with faster resolution times.

Network of Networks

As with the current CNS network, through partnership with 702 Communications, the newly combined network will be branded under the Aurora Fiber Optic Networks name and will continue to be a part of the INDATEL nationwide network of networks.

The CNS purpose is to Bring More Broadband to More Rural Places. With that goal in mind we provide a variety of services to the rural telecommunications industry.

Cooperative Network Services (CNS) is a key provider of high-capacity fiber-optic backhaul for much of Minnesota, providing IP/TDM Transport, Special Access Circuits, and Ethernet services to the carrier, enterprise, and SMB markets.

CNS’ ownership consists of 20 cooperative telephone and broadband providers operating in and around Minnesota.

In addition to the CNS transport network, we also provide professional services to rural providers throughout the country, including: Engineering, Consulting, Video Product Management, Human Resources, and Graphic Design services.

Our ownership consists exclusively of cooperative telecommunications providers, and CNS reflects the cooperative spirit and values of its owners in the services it provides. By working together as a group, CNS provides the benefits and efficiencies of consolidation that much of the rest of our industry has experienced in recent years, while at the same time offering services that no single member could offer alone. This is very much in keeping with the cooperative mission. Do More. Together.

CenturyLink to bring fiber to 1,000+ homes in Nessel Township, MN (Chisago County)

Yahoo! Finance reports…

CenturyLink, Inc. CTL announced its plans to bring fiber to more than 1,000 homes and enterprises in Nessel Township, MN. Residents of this rural area will have access to reliable and high-speed Internet. The Monroe, LA-based communications company’s fiber and IP-based network capacity combined with its financial strength positions it well to support customers and boost shareholders’ value in the long term.

CenturyLink has a significant presence in Minnesota, with more than 17,000 miles of fiber and one million connections. The company’s investments and Minnesota’s Border to Border Broadband Development Grant Program will help meet the state’s goal of extensive broadband service. This public-private partnership project is aimed at providing the fiber and electronics needed for high-speed connections of up to 940 Mbps. It complements other similar projects in Minnesota’s underserved areas, providing more than 3,300 connections since 2014.

Paul Bunyan Communications Returns Capital Credits Early; Over $4.1 Million Distributed, Largest in Cooperative Histor

I don’t usually share such business-focused press releases, but it’s a good time for good news and it seems like a sign that you can make a business case for rural broadband at Gig speeds…

Instead of the regular fall distribution, Paul Bunyan Communications has sent out the 2020 Capital Credit return early to its members and it is the largest return in the cooperative’s history, over $4.1 million.
Paul Bunyan Communications is a not for profit company that strives to provide the highest quality service at the most affordable rates. As a cooperative, membership in Paul Bunyan Communications includes sharing in the financial success of the company. Profits are allocated to the members based on their proportional share of the allocable revenues. These allocations may then be returned to the individual members through capital credit retirements.
The 2020 distribution includes 20% of credits earned in 2019 and the remaining credits earned in 2002. For current members with a distribution amount of $100 or less, a credit has been applied to your June bill. Checks have been mailed out to members receiving more than $100. “The state of the cooperative is strong and our all-fiber optic network, the GigaZone, is one of the largest rural gigabit networks in the country. This enables our members to keep connected to work from home, distance learn, use telehealth services, watch streaming video, and much more. To help our members in these current circumstances, our Board of Directors felt strongly about paying out capital credits as aggressively and as quickly as possible” said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.
“Our cooperative member-owned structure and rural focus allows us to provide technologies and a level of service to our members unlike other providers. We are well prepared and committed to provide our members the critical communication services they need with the local customer service they deserve now and well into the future. Thank you to all of our members for being a part of Minnesota’s largest broadband cooperative!” added Randy Frisk, Board President.
“Our cooperative provides the latest in technology at cost. There is no membership fee to join Paul Bunyan Communications and there are no annual membership dues. To become a member of the cooperative, all you need to do is subscribe to either local phone or broadband Internet service. You get the latest in technology backed up by our talented team of over 130 local employees that all live and work here” added Dave Schultz, Paul Bunyan Communications Chief Financial Officer.

MN Cooperative Fiber Coverage up 1,000 square miles from 2019

The Institute for Local Self Reliance has updated their 2017 report on how Cooperatives Fiberize Rural America; they update it on a regular basis. The quick take from the Minnesota perspective – coverage in Minnesota has increased by 1,000 square miles – or percentage wise from 21.6 to 22.3 percent in the last year.

2020 Coverage

2019 Coverage

And here are recommendations…

Federal and state governments must recognize that cooperatives are one of the best tools for ubiquitous, rural, high-speed Internet access.

  1. Design funding programs with cooperatives in mind.
    1. Letters of credit from the largest banks may be hard to come by for smaller cooperatives.
    2. Make applications as simple and easy as possible. Staff time is limited at small cooperatives.
    3. Develop grant and loan programs rather than create incentives in the tax code for infrastructure investment.
  2. Encourage cooperatives by removing barriers and encouraging partnerships.
    1. Remove barriers to electric cooperatives exploring the possibility of fiber network. Cooperatives should not be prevented from applying to federal grants that they are eligible for because of hindersome state laws.
    2. Encourage partnerships, including with existing muni networks.
  3. If you live in a rural area, talk to your neighbors, co-op manager, and board members about the potential for Internet networks. Successful cooperative projects are community-led projects. About 70 percent of electric cooperatives have less than 10 percent average turnout for their board member elections.25
    1. Co-Mo Electric Cooperative in Missouri had excited members go door-to-door and gave out yard signs to encourage folks to get involved with the project. Many community members also wrote letters of support for the project.
    2. In New Mexico, the local business community voiced their needs at Kit Carson Electric Cooperative board meetings to encourage the co-op to build a fiber network.
    3. Delta Montrose Electric Association in Colorado overcame an initial reluctance to develop an Internet access project after overwhelming demand from its members.26
  4. Make it clear that rural connectivity is about more than entertainment. Farmers, programmers, and entrepreneurs all need high-speed Internet access. Rural connectivity also supports needed research.
    1. Allband Communications Cooperative started a non-profit called ACEWR, which collaborates with universities and research institutions across the United States. It is a prime spot for research on local wildlife, endangered species, and conservation projects. The nonprofit also has an online workforce development program to train locals in new skills, empowering them to succeed in the 21st century economy

Duluth New Tribune Letter to the Editor lifts up fiber as the broadband solution

Duluth New Tribune posts a letter from Kyle Moorhead, chief technology officer who makes some assertions about current broadband providers…

In my 30 years in the business, I’ve observed a few things.

Most telecommunications companies have quietly abandoned rural and suburban communities. Due to economic realities, they have applied bandages instead of replacing old equipment. Fixes and installations are done as quickly and cheaply as possible. Then it is onto the next project. Later they send a repair truck to try to fix problems.

And offers a recommendation…

Local, state, and federal officials are trying desperately to solve the problem. But after spending hundreds of millions of dollars, in many cases, the problems still exist and few people understand why. Sometimes the system works, sometimes it doesn’t. People are clear about what they want: reliable, affordable, high-speed service.

This is critical infrastructure, and it needs a complete redesign. But that doesn’t mean cities become internet providers. That economic model doesn’t work either. A new model must continue to allow internet and cell phone companies to provide their services. The community’s role is building and taking control of the fiber infrastructure through public-private partnerships. Just like public entities build roads today, they need to build a reliable fiber “road.”

Reliability demands a completely different design coupled with a well-built fiber infrastructure. This approach ensures low ongoing maintenance costs. It means combining all the public and private grant money available to cities, counties, townships, school districts, and other public entities to design and install a fiber infrastructure. It means taxpayers help foot the bill once for a network that serves entire communities’ needs not only today but also well into the future.

Paul Bunyan’s broadband is making life easier during coronavirus on the Iron Range (Itasca County)

Hometown Focus posts stories from folks on the Iron Range who have broadband from Paul Bunyan and are better armed for the pandemic because of it…

During the Stay Home statewide order, three Itasca County residents who received broadband connection from the Paul Bunyan project shared their testimony.

Claire Peterlin is the Itasca Area Schools Career Pathways Program director and is teleworking from her home on Scenic 7. She connects daily with teachers and career pathway professionals through an online chat-ready room to keep the curriculum going for students taking college level and career academy-based courses.

“The world of education has totally shifted the last few weeks, but I really believe that we will come out even stronger with more tools in our belts once ‘normal’ resumes,” said Peterlin. “I miss meeting face-to-face with my peers, but none of this would be possible without reliable high-speed internet.”

Vicki Hagberg is the Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce president. She is teleworking from her home on Buck Lake north of Nashwauk. Her husband is a superintendent in the pipefitting division of CR Meyer and is preparing construction bids from home during the pandemic.

“When we were in the market to buy a home in 2017, broadband connectivity was one of our top considerations. Little did we know then how needed it would be to continue our employment during a global pandemic,” said Hagberg.

Aaron Brown is an instructor of communication at Hibbing Community College, while also working as an author, radio producer and Iron Range news blogger. He and his wife have three sons, and the entire family is working and learning from their Itasca County home during the COVID 19 crisis. Aaron conducts video conferences from his home for his students, so they can complete his course and graduate on time. Meantime, he is collaborating with a partner in New York on a new podcast project. Earlier this week he published an article on the new urgency for rural broadband.

“Access to high-speed internet in rural northeastern Minnesota is equivalent to other basic services such as postal delivery, electricity and telephones,” said Whitney Ridlon, Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation community representative. “Mail, electrical and telephone service at one point in history were considered luxuries and available only in larger cities. Eventually our nation considered these basic public utilities and made them available in rural areas across America: mail delivery in the early 1900s, electricity in the 1930s and telephone service in the 1950s. We are at that same point with broadband.”

Invest in America after Coronavirus? Tom Friedman suggest broadband and mentions Red Wing

Tom Friedman’s latest column in the New York Times takes a look at how we can invest in America to help give young American’s the skills and tool they will need to get beyond the Coronavirus debt. He lists three things; broadband makes the shortlist…

Expanded high-speed internet connectivity everywhere, but particularly in rural America, so more people can participate in the innovation economy.

And he backs that up with using Red Wing as a model community…

But let’s not stop there. Let’s also create tax, regulatory and funding incentives for every community — but particularly the many underserved rural communities — to install high-speed broadband and fiber to the home.

“Building fiber infrastructure all across heartland America ensures that high-paying jobs can take place anywhere,” explained Matt Dunne, executive director of the Center on Rural Innovation, and it makes the whole country “more resilient to future pandemics and climate change-related weather events that require children and workers to stay home.”

High-speed internet basically enables anyone anywhere to get training for a better job, often at low to no cost, from online universities or YouTube instructional videos.

And if you connect them, they will invent. I traveled with Dunne in September to Red Wing, Minn., south of Minneapolis, to see the creative ways in which small towns were investing in rural broadband to build gigabit networks that support high-tech start-ups and local manufacturers.

My favorites were two Minnesota inventors who came up with a robotic chicken/turkey coop cleaner. It patrols the poultry house for dead birds and tills the bedding, but with an unexpected byproduct: The birds exercise more and are healthier, because they are constantly running away from or pecking at the robot. It also decreases the pecking order, so fewer birds are picked on and shunned. Mortality decreases and money is saved on feed and medicine. It’s called the “Poultry Patrol.”

And its inventors were “doing their prototyping in the region because farmers there have fiber to the home,” said Dunne. “While the robots work autonomously most of the time, there are significant periods when they need to be remotely operated and receive coding updates from afar, which is only possible with very fast broadband.”

What Dunne proposes is that the federal government create a new loan program, reminiscent of the Rural Electrification Act, which would offer 50-year, no-interest loans to communities and co-ops creating rural fiber broadband networks and an easing of regulations to enable public-private coalitions to build rural broadband and attach high-speed fiber to existing telephone poles.

This connectivity would also promote another enabling platform we need: manufacturing from anywhere through a network of open-source maker spaces. This, too, requires less government funding and more inspiration and imagination to show people what is possible.

Residents of the Iron Range testify to value of Paul Bunyan FTTH especially during pandemic

The IRRR Ranger reports

Paul Bunyan Communications in 2015 installed fiber optic lines to bring high speed internet to portions of Itasca County including the townships of Balsam, Lawrence, Nashwauk and the former Iron Range Township.

The project was a collaboration among public partners, community members and the rural cooperative Paul Bunyan. Together they successfully brought broadband to 1,310 locations, including homes and businesses. Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation supported the project with a $1.25 million grant.

“Fast, reliable and affordable broadband access in northeastern Minnesota is an economic necessity, not a luxury,” said Mark Phillips, Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation commissioner. “Our families, workers, businesses, senior citizens, health care systems, students and schools are using it like never before. During the COVID-19 crisis it is enabling learning, working and health care to continue. But there is more work to be done to bring it to every single acre and corner of northeastern Minnesota.”

During the Stay Home statewide order, three Itasca County residents who received broadband connection from the Paul Bunyan project shared their testimony.

Claire Peterlin is the Itasca Area Schools Career Pathways Program Director and is teleworking from her home on Scenic 7. She connects daily with teachers and career pathway professionals through an online chat-ready room to keep the curriculum going for students taking college level and career academy based courses.

“The world of education has totally shifted the last few weeks, but I really believe that we will come out even stronger with more tools in our belts once ‘normal’ resumes,” said Peterlin. “I miss meeting face-to-face with my peers, but none of this would be possible without reliable high-speed internet.”

Vicki Hagberg is the Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce president. She is teleworking from her home on Buck Lake north of Nashwauk. Her husband is a superintendent in the pipefitting division of CR Meyer and is preparing construction bids from home during the pandemic.

“When we were in the market to buy a home in 2017, broadband connectivity was one of our top considerations. Little did we know then how needed it would be to continue our employment during a global pandemic,” said Hagberg.

Clearfield announces Home Deployment Kits to Streamline FTTH Ad minimize customer interaction in time of social distancing

This is a little more industry than I usually post – but I think it’s interesting in an era of social distancing and Clearfield is a Minnesota company; they report

Clearfield, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLFD), the specialist in fiber management for communication service providers, today announced the introduction of Home Deployment Kits. Designed to streamline and ease the task of FTTH deployment, Home Deployment Kits include everything you need to connect a home to fiber — all in one box. Clearfield’s Home Deployment Kits can reduce install time by 30 minutes per install. For carriers looking to deploy a fiber network to 1,000 homes over the next year, this equates to a time savings of 500 hours with a lower-cost per install team. For those consumers willing to take a do-it-yourself approach, the Home Deployment Kit enables a contactless installation keeping residents and fiber technicians at a safe distance.

Blandin Broadband Leadership Webinar – Broadband 101 Archive

Thanks to the presenters and attendees for joining the latest Blandin Broadband Leadership Webinar: Broadband 101.  Here we have the description, video archive, slides when available and chat transcript (get handouts discussed in the webinar)…

The third of ten webinars – Broadband 101 – over the next five weeks is April 7 at 9 a.m. CDT.  Join Carl Meyerhoefer of Calix and Tim Johnson of MVTV Wireless as they share their expertise in helping to create and spread a shared broadband vision in their area.

And chat Continue reading