New maps of US municipal FTTH networks – including three in Minnesota

Gotta love a hometown tool! The folks at Community Networks (Institute for Local Self Reliance) just published a map of citywide, municipal, Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) networks across the US with more info on each network – including info on the three in Minnesota: Monticello Fibernet, Southwest Minnesota Broadband Systems (SMBS) and WindomNet.

muni_2016_12_ftth_citywide_map

I’m not going to say Minnesota is well above average – but we’re not below average either.

GigaZone Comes to Kelliher and Northome from Paul Bunyan Communications

Good news for Kelliher and Northome…gigazone

The GigaZone Comes to Kelliher and Northome

One of the largest rural all-fiber optic Gigabit networks in the United States continues to grow; Now available to more than 29,400 locations in northern Minnesota

 

(Bemidji, MN) (January 5, 2017) – Paul Bunyan Communications has announced that for the first time, the GigaZone has come to Kelliher and Northome. As a result of continued upgrades to the Cooperative’s all-fiber optic communications network over 1,700 more locations now have access to GigaZone services including Internet speeds up to a Gigabit per second.

 

“We continue to make great progress on upgrading our network to incorporate even more members into the GigaZone and over the next several months we’ll be activating the GigaZone in even more areas.  I’m very proud of all the hard work our cooperative has put in so far as we put our membership and region at the forefront of the very latest in communication networks.  We will continue to do as much as we can to bring the GigaZone to all our members and the communities we serve as fast as we can.” said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.

 

The GigaZone is currently available to over 29,400 locations including all of the cooperative’s service area of rural Park Rapids, Lake George, Trout Lake Township east of Grand Rapids, LaPrairie, most of Grand Rapids, Red Lake, Cohasset, Ponemah, Turtle River, Laporte, Tenstrike, Little Rock, Becida, Redby, Puposky, Solway, Kelliher, Northome, and areas of Bemidji.

 

Paul Bunyan Communications recently mailed out information to the new locations that are now in the GigaZone and the cooperative has an online map available at http://paulbunyan.net/gigazone/map/ showing the active areas of the GigaZone as well as those areas that will be constructed/upgraded in the future.

 

“If you are wondering when the GigaZone will reach you, the online map of the active areas and plans for this year is a great resource.” added Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.

 

GigaZone service options include unprecedented Broadband Internet speeds of up to 1000 Mbps – a Gigabit.  Members who subscribe to GigaZone Broadband can also add PBTV Fusion and/or low cost unlimited long distance service.  All current service options also remain available to cooperative members within the GigaZone.

 

Most current wireless routers cannot support blazing GigaZone Internet speeds.  To help, the cooperative is offering GigaZone Integrated Wi-Fi that uses the latest in advanced Wi-Fi technologies to maximize the in-home wireless experience. This service is free to all new GigaZone customers for the first six months, with a minimal charge thereafter.

 

Paul Bunyan Communications has the region’s largest and fastest all fiber optic network with over 5,000 square miles throughout most of Beltrami County and portions of Cass, Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, and St. Louis Counties.  The Cooperative provides Broadband High Speed Internet Service up to a Gigabit per second, digital and high definition television services, Smart Home services, digital voice services, and more.   Service availability depends upon location, some restrictions may apply.

Urban broadband is a cable game – rural broadband is DSL: how can that help us plan?

The FCC recently released the Industry Analysis and Technology Division Wireline Competition Bureau. It’s the culmination of FCC Form 477 filled out by providers.

I think there’s an interesting look at speeds by technology and location (metro vs rural) of technology. First location – the following graph tracks ratio of subscribership by household density, or who serves urban areas and who serves rural areas. The answer is DSL is a big player in rural areas; cable is the biggest player in towns and cities. Fixed wireless and satellite are players in rural areas and almost non-existent in urban areas. This graph does not track speed – just technology.

477a

Now it’s helpful to look at what speeds. When we look at access by speeds or 10/1 we see representation of all technologies.

477b

When we look at speeds of 25/3, DSL is no longer represented.

477c

Here’s another way to look at it:

477d

DSL has a larger share of slower connections. DSL has a larger share of rural connections. The Minnesota legislature has defined speed goals or 25/3 by 2022 and 100/20 by 2026. They have dedicated funds to making it happen through the border to border grants. So there’s a recognized need for support, but the question is how to increase speeds in rural areas.

Do tools used in urban areas help rural connectivity? Do policy makers understand that there’s a significant difference in the two markets based on population density, distance to customers, limitations of transport technology and regulations and expectations of technologies based urban scenarios.

Right now Minnesota connectivity rates are well below the legislative goals (and the report only indicates download speeds):

  • 200 kbps – 99.5 percent connect
  • 3 Mbps – 93.0 percent connect
  • 10 Mbps – 75.2 percent connect
  • 25 Mbps – 54.2 percent connect
  • 100 Mbps – 13.4 percent connect

The GigaZone Comes to Laporte, Becida, and Solway

Good news…gigazone

 

 

The GigaZone Comes to Laporte, Becida, and Solway

One of the largest rural all-fiber optic Gigabit networks in the United States continues to grow;

Now available to more than 27,000 locations in northern Minnesota

 

(Bemidji, MN) (December 5, 2016) – Paul Bunyan Communications has announced that for the first time, the GigaZone has come to Laporte, Becida, and Solway along with additional areas of Bemidji. As a result of continued upgrades to the Cooperative’s all-fiber optic communications network over 3,100 more locations now have access to GigaZone services including Internet speeds up to a Gigabit per second.

 

“We continue to make great progress on upgrading our network to incorporate even more members into the GigaZone and over the next several months we’ll be activating the GigaZone in even more areas.  I’m very proud of all the hard work our cooperative has put in so far as we put our membership and region at the forefront of the very latest in communication networks.  We will continue to do as much as we can to bring the GigaZone to all our members and the communities we serve as fast as we can.” said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.

 

The GigaZone is currently available to over 27,000 locations including all of the cooperative’s service area of rural Park Rapids, Lake George, Trout Lake Township east of Grand Rapids, LaPrairie, most of Grand Rapids, Red Lake, Cohasset, Ponemah, Turtle River, Laporte, Tenstrike, Little Rock, Becida, Redby, Puposky, Solway, and areas of Bemidji.

 

Paul Bunyan Communications recently mailed out information to the new locations that are now in the GigaZone and the cooperative has an online map available at http://paulbunyan.net/gigazone/map/ showing the active areas of the GigaZone as well as those areas that will be constructed/upgraded in the future.

 

“If you are wondering when the GigaZone will reach you, the online map of the active areas and plans for this year is a great resource.” added Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.

 

GigaZone service options include unprecedented Broadband Internet speeds of up to 1000 Mbps – a Gigabit.  Members who subscribe to GigaZone Broadband can also add PBTV Fusion and/or low cost unlimited long distance service.  All current service options also remain available to cooperative members within the GigaZone.

 

Most current wireless routers cannot support blazing GigaZone Internet speeds.  To help, the cooperative is offering GigaZone Integrated Wi-Fi that uses the latest in advanced Wi-Fi technologies to maximize the in-home wireless experience. This service is free to all new GigaZone customers for the first six months, with a minimal charge thereafter.

 

Paul Bunyan Communications has the region’s largest and fastest all fiber optic network with over 5,000 square miles throughout most of Beltrami County and portions of Cass, Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, and St. Louis Counties.  The Cooperative provides Broadband High Speed Internet Service up to a Gigabit per second, digital and high definition television services, Smart Home services, digital voice services, and more.   Service availability depends upon location, some restrictions may apply.

Red Lake Nation one of first reservations to get a Gig – thanks to Paul Bunyan

Good news for Paul Bunyan Communication – great news for Red Lake, Redby, Little Rock, and Pgigazoneonemah…

The GigaZone Comes to Red Lake, Redby, Little Rock, and Ponemah
Red Lake Nation one of the first reservations in the U.S. to gain access to all-fiber optic Gigabit Internet (Bemidji, MN) (November 14, 2016) – The Red Lake Nation is one of the first Indian Reservations in the country to have access to gigabit Internet speeds over an all-fiber optic network, Paul Bunyan Communications announced today.  Thanks to recent upgrades to the cooperative’s all-fiber optic communications network, more than 2,000 locations across the reservation including Red Lake, Redby, Little Rock, Ponemah and surrounding areas now have access to GigaZone services including Internet speeds up to one gigabit per second.

“This is exciting news for the Red Lake Nation and our tribal members! Having access to fiber Internet services is vital to our rural economy and impacts so many aspects of life.  To start a new business, find a good job, or get a high quality education you need a quality high-speed Internet connection. The GigaZone is on the cutting edge of technology and enhances the Red Lake Nation’s unique assets, including a large workforce and the Red Lake Nation College, for economic development and business expansion. We’re excited about the positive impact this will have on our Tribe now and well into the future,” said Darrell Seki, Sr., Red Lake Tribal Chairman.

“It’s a big day for our cooperative and the Red Lake Nation.  We’ve always been committed to offering our region the best possible communication services.  When we were formed 65 years ago, that meant providing telephone services in areas no other provider would serve.  Today it means delivering advanced data capabilities and Internet services to our members which are unsurpassed by any region or any other provider in the country – regardless of size or location.  The GigaZone will not only provide the capacity to handle current communication technologies quickly and efficiently, it will also meet the increasing demands of the next generation of innovations,” said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.

Paul Bunyan Communications’ GigaZone is currently available to more than 23,900 locations across north-central Minnesota and continues to expand, making it one of the largest gigabit fiber networks in the country.

Paul Bunyan Communications recently mailed out information to the new locations that are now in the GigaZone and the cooperative has an online map available at http://paulbunyan.net/gigazone/map/ showing the active areas of the GigaZone as well as those areas that will be constructed/upgraded in the future.

GigaZone service options include unprecedented fiber optic Internet speeds of up to 1000 Mbps – a Gigabit.  Members who subscribe to GigaZone Internet can also add PBTV Fusion digital television service and/or low cost unlimited long distance service and a variety of other services offered by the cooperative.

Most current wireless routers cannot support blazing GigaZone Internet speeds.  To help, the cooperative is offering GigaZone Integrated Wi-Fi that uses the latest in advanced Wi-Fi technologies to maximize the in-home wireless experience. This service is free to all new GigaZone customers for the first six months, with a minimal charge thereafter.

Paul Bunyan Communications has the region’s largest and fastest all fiber optic network with over 5,000 square miles throughout most of Beltrami County and portions of Cass, Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, and St. Louis Counties.  The Cooperative provides Broadband High Speed Internet Service up to a Gigabit per second, digital and high definition television services, Smart Home services, digital voice services, and more.   Service availability depends upon location, some restrictions may apply.

Entrepreneurship needs fostering AND broadband such as Red Wing Ignite

Clearly I’ve been wrestling with recent research indicating that rural counties with better broadband do not also have greater levels of entrepreneurship.

I get it and I think it has a lot to do with jobs but I just so firmly believe that it’s pre-broadband job mentality getting in the way of broadband economic opportunities. Jobs are right for some people but broadband should open the door to other choices.

I thought about that when I read about Lt Governor Tina Smith’s visit to Red Wing Ignite in the Red Wing Republican Eagle

Lt. Gov. Tina Smith visited with Red Wing Ignite representatives and toured the building Thursday as part of her “87 Counties in 86 Days” tour.

Red Wing has FTTH. That’s great but more importantly I think Red Wing Ignite is helping local businesses and residents learn about the opportunities…

Adkisson, an Ignite board member, explained the organization’s mission to help Red Wing on the map, in the state and nationally, as an “entrepreneurial spirit community.”

“An entrepreneur myself for the last 40 years as a business owner, there’s not a lot of support for our dream,” he said. “So, we thought what we needed to do was go after support for entrepreneurs so that they have the best opportunity to build a business and not just take their dreams and watch them fail.” …

Smith said she was impressed by the organization’s community-wide collaborations to foster talent, workforce and access to capital.

“You can just see what can be accomplished when you’ve got the kind of collaboration that is happening here in Red Wing,” she said. “They are creating a real physical and virtual ecosystem for entrepreneurship in the region and in this community with Red Wing Ignite, and that’s really exciting.”

It will be interesting to see the impact of the programming on business starts, jobs and economic development in the future.

From typewriter, to dialup to fiber – The Iron Range is getting serious about the Information Age

Aaron Brown writes about life on The Iron Range in Northern Minnesota. (He also hosts a great radio show on KAXE.) He has been vocal about the need for better broadband in his community. Today he celebrates the history of technology in Minnesota (fun to read as I remember working with the early providers in the area) – and recognizes that now is the time to really get serious…

Minnesota’s relationship with the internet has come a long way in 25 years. And while it still has some immature tendencies (I’m looking at you, creepy clown videos), now is when life in the Information Age starts to get serious.

The whole article is worth a read! But I wanted to point out that the timing of a recent hefty broadband upgrade in Aaron’s area has everything to do with “getting serious” …

Earlier this month, my family and I attended a community open house for Paul Bunyan Communication’s Central Itasca Fiber project. You might recall that I wrote about this last winter when the project sought funding. The interest then was great then, but now thousands of rural Iron Rangers will actually connect to gigabyte speeds — from Balsam and Lawrence townships to areas North of Nashwauk. Thus, the mood at the event was jubilant. Almost 300 people packed the Balsam Hall to hear project updates.

Before the upgrade, they were waiting on deck – hard to start a business without broadband, hard to recruit young families without broadband, hard to deploy telehealth practices, upgrade homework options, the list goes on. Now they can get serious – now they can compete with other communities that have broadband. Before the just weren’t contenders!

It’s great news for The Range – but a cautionary tale for any community that doesn’t have broadband or any community that is looking at an incremental upgrade that will still leave them out as serious contenders to compete for business, residents, health care, education upgrades. Because other communities are ready!