Update on Border to Border grants in portions of Itasca and Hubbard Counties from Paul Bunyan

Updates from Paul Bunyan…

Paul Bunyan Communications awarded State of Minnesota Border to Border Broadband Grant for portions of Itasca County, Hubbard County

Cooperative will bring Broadband network to over 1,030 locations

(Bemidji, MN) (January 16, 2017) –Paul Bunyan Communications has been awarded a Border to Border Broadband Grant from the state of Minnesota to expand its fiber optic services to portions of central Itasca County, southern Hubbard County, and a small portion of Becker County.

As a result, the cooperative will begin expansion construction this spring that will pass a minimum of 1,030 locations in portions of Arbo Township, Balsam Township, Lawrence Township, and Nashwauk Township in Itasca County, portions of Straight River Township in Hubbard County, and portions of Osage Township and Green Valley Township in Becker County.  The project is estimated to cost $3.9 million, with Paul Bunyan Communications contributing $2.16 million, $1.74 million from the State of Minnesota Border to Border Grant, and Itasca County contributing up to $75,000 towards the Itasca County portion of the project.

“We are excited to continue our expansion efforts to provide access to broadband Internet speeds to those without it in our region.  Our cooperative has a long history of expanding our network to underserved areas but it has become increasingly challenging to go it alone without grant support.  The State of Minnesota Border to Border Grant Program, Itasca County, and the Itasca Economic Development Corporation were instrumental in building community support and providing guidance through the grant application process to make this project a reality.  These areas will not only get Broadband access, they will go from slow satellite or dial up Internet to speeds of up to a Gigabit per second and become part of one of the largest rural Gigabit networks in the country!,” said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.

Paul Bunyan Communications expects to develop the expansion plans by early spring and will contact locations along the upcoming expansion routes shortly thereafter. Construction will start in the early summer and will be completed by June 30, 2019.  Those in the region interested in keeping up to date on the project can look for updates on the Paul Bunyan website at http://paulbunyan.net.  Those in Itasca County can also join the Paul Bunyan Communications Central Itasca Fiber Project Group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/PBC.Itasca/

“This project will have an incredible impact on people’s lives.  Employees will be able to work from home, students will have access to educational resources, and seniors will be able to stay in their homes longer with telemedicine.” added Steve Howard, Paul Bunyan Communications Information Technology and Development Manager.  “We are impressed by the leadership shown by Itasca County in supporting this project.  We know that government budgets are tight and the Itasca County leaders have continued to promote and support getting broadband infrastructure throughout their county.” said Howard.

“I salute the hard work of our elected officials who championed the Border to Border Broadband Grant Program.  I want to thank all of them and also the Office of Broadband Development that oversees the program.  This is going to make a world of difference in so many ways to a lot of people right here in northern Minnesota!” said Johnson.

All of the cooperative’s services will become available once the network is operational including GigaZone service options like unprecedented Broadband Internet speeds of up to 1000 Mbps – a Gigabit, PBTV Fusion and low cost unlimited local and long distance GigaZone voice service.  There is no membership fee to join Paul Bunyan Communications, membership is included by subscribing to either local phone service or GigaZone Internet service.

Paul Bunyan Communications has the region’s largest and fastest all fiber optic network with over 5,000 square miles served throughout most of Beltrami County and portions of Cass, Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, and St. Louis Counties.  The Cooperative provides Broadband High Speed Internet Services including the GigaZone, digital and high definition television services, Smart Home services, digital voice services, and more.

2017 MTA Spring Convention: March 27-29

The annual MTA (Minnesota Telecom Alliance) conference is coming up – March 27-29 in Minneapolis. It’s also a big and great show with topics ranging from policy, to technology, marketing, industry new and business management. The trade show alone is a fun look at what folks are doing.

Here’s a peek at the agenda

Monday, March 27

Breakout Sessions (3:00 – 3:50 pm_

Enabling Faster Speeds at the Network Edge – Karthik Kailasam, Emerson Network Power

Automation and You: Automating Everyday Life and Business Tasks – Shaun Carlson, Arvig
Selling Ethernet Transport in a Tariff Environment – Iris Carrasquillo, NECA

Breakout Sessions (4:00 – 4:50 pm)

Evolving Broadband Privacy Requirements – Shannon Heim, Dykema Gossett

Achieving High Availability with NFV – Mike Gates, REDCOM

There Has to Be an Easier Way! – Gwen Schaffer, Olsen Thielen CPAs

Opening Reception at Hyatt (5:00 – 6:30 pm)

Tuesday, March 28

Breakout Sessions (9:30 – 10:20 am)

5G: Embracing the Opportunities – Ben Humphrey, Finley Engineering Company, Inc.

Leading Millennials – Debbie Johnson, Minnesota State Community and Technical College
How “Big Data” Can Support Revenue – Andy Rangen, 7Sigma Systems, Inc.; Aaron Hautala, RedHouseMedia

Breakout Sessions (10:30 – 11:20 am)

Fiber Indexing for Multi-Use – Erik Gronvall, CommScope

Building a Profitable Modern Video Offering – Mark Chambers, NeoNova; Terry Kucera, NeoNova

Culture Branding: The HR + Marketing Connection – Jenna Monse, Cooperative Network Services; Christine Castagneri, Cooperative Network Services

Breakout Sessions (11:30 am – 12:20 pm)

Personal Cyber Security: A Clear and Present Danger – Jon Brown, Vantage Point Solutions

Make World-Class Wi-Fi Your Differentiator: How to Optimize Carrier Class Wi-Fi in Your Subscriber’s Home – Ben Chan, Calix

Hot Topics in Labor & Employment Law Under the New Administration – Tom Revnew, Seaton Peters & Revnew

Issues Update Lunch (12:30 – 1:30 pm)  – Ron Kresha

Exhibits Open – 1:00 – 6:00 pm

Wednesday, March 29

 

Keynote – John Kriesel

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.

MN Broadband Industry Conference with MN Telecom Alliance & MN Cable Communications Association

I think this is the third annual – the previous meetings have been very good.

Broadband Networks – Connections that matter!

Industry stakeholders, elected officials, and policy experts are invited to this educational event that will focus on Net Neutrality, Government’s Role in Broadband, Wireless Spectrum/FirstNet, Technology Advance and the Future of Telecom.

When: February 23 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Where: Intercontinental St Paul Riverfront Hotel
11 E Kellogg Blvd
St. Paul, Minnesota  55101
United States

Register Online

Paul Bunyan Communications CEO Gary Johnson Named Twin Cities Business 100 People to Know

Glad to see representation from the rural broadband world. Gary was the keynote speaker at the 2016 Minnesota Broadband conference; it’s a small look at what cinched him the recognition…

Paul Bunyan Communications CEO Gary Johnson Named  Twin Cities Business 100 People to Know

 

(Bemidji, MN) (December 8, 2016) –Paul Bunyan Communications CEO Gary Johnson has been named as one of the Twin Cities Business Magazine’s (TCB) 100 People to Know.

 

Twin Cities Business Magazine annually highlights 100 Minnesotans, leaders with insight, experience, and savvy that people in business need to observe, seek out, and learn from in the year ahead.  The goal is to identify the key individuals that are expected to make an impact on local business, regional economy, and quality of life in 2017.

 

Johnson was included in the Pioneers category in recognition of Paul Bunyan Communications’ innovation, growth, and continued deployment of the latest in communication technologies including construction of one of the largest rural all-fiber optic networks in the United States.

 

“On behalf of our entire amazing team at Paul Bunyan Communications, I am honored to be named one of TCB’s 100 People to Know.  It is their hard work, talent, and dedication that has empowered our cooperative to be a pioneer in the telecommunications industry.  We’re proof that when you combine a commitment to rural service, a laser-like focus on communications technologies, and the courage to imagine and pursue what’s next, there is very little that is not possible. As a cooperative we feel very strongly about investing in our communities so they have access to the most robust, advanced communication services available. It is critical for education, economic development, and quality of life.  This is a great honor and reinforces just how cutting edge and important our efforts are” said Johnson.

 

“As we learned more about Paul Bunyan Communications in the People to Know selection process, it was amazing to see the incredible amount of forward thinking the cooperative has shown over the past 20 years, time and again leading the way in providing the very latest in technology to its members.  To talk with Gary and see one of the largest rural all-fiber optic Gigabit networks being rolled out so rapidly in northern Minnesota is inspiring.  By highlighting his leadership and the GigaZone initiative hopefully it will lead to similar projects throughout rural Minnesota.” said Dale Kurschner, Twin Cities Business Magazine Editor in Chief.

 

“I congratulate Gary and the entire PBC team!” said Dave Hengel, Executive Director of Greater Bemidji, “Gary’s leadership and Paul Bunyan Communication’s commitment to our region in many ways has encouraged the greater Bemidji region to think big, be bold and ask the question, ‘why not in Bemidji?  As I watch our community grow and develop into a vibrant regional center, I can see the fingerprints of Gary’s vision and leadership all over our community. It is only fitting for Gary to be named on of TCB’s 100 People to Know because of his leadership and what Paul Bunyan is doing for our region.”

 

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 Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, and St. Louis Counties.  The Cooperative provides Broadband High Speed Internet Services, digital and high definition television services, Smart Home services, digital voice services, and more.

  • ###

Mediacom Broadband Network to be Gigabit-Ready by Year End

mediacomGood news for many communities! Looks like most Mediacom communities in Minnesota will soon have access to 60+ Mbps – the towns of Cook and Grand Marais are stand-alone networks and are not connected to national/upgrading internet network…

Entire Mediacom Communications Broadband Network to be Gigabit-Ready by Year End

First Major U.S. Cable Company to Fully Deploy DOCSIS 3.1 Gigasphere Technology

Mediacom Park, NY – December 7, 2016 – Mediacom Communications today announced the company’s entire broadband network will be gigabit-capable by the end of 2016. Mediacom will become the first major U.S. cable company to fully transition to the DOCSIS 3.1Gigasphere” platform, the latest generation of broadband technology. As a result, virtually all of the 3 million homes and businesses that Mediacom serves across its 22 state footprint will be able to enjoy speeds that are up to 40 times faster than the minimum broadband definition set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

“Mediacom was founded on the principle that hard-working families in the smaller cities and towns in our nation’s heartland deserved the same advanced communications services enjoyed in the largest metropolitan areas” said Mediacom’s founder and CEO, Rocco B. Commisso. “Through our $8 billion of cumulative investments over the past 20 years in pursuit of that goal, we have enabled the communities where we operate to successfully bridge the digital divide.”

According to Mr. Commisso, “After the Gigasphere modems became available earlier this year, we accelerated the first phase of our previously announced 3-year, $1 billion capital investment plan so that Mediacom’s customers could begin taking advantage of superfast speeds as soon as possible. This will ensure that the predominantly working-class neighborhoods we serve throughout Middle America are not technologically disadvantaged in today’s global marketplace.”

He added that “I am especially proud that the substantial investments in our rural markets were made despite the heavy-handed and unfair regulatory burdens recently imposed on our company by the FCC and without depending on government subsidies. In contrast to many others who have been willing to deploy broadband in rural areas only if incentivized with loans and grants from federal and state programs, Mediacom has relied totally on private capital. Moreover, unlike some other competitors who offer 1-Gig speeds only in select neighborhoods in their service areas, our 1-Gig service will be accessible to absolutely everyone within the reach of our network, regardless of the size, income-level or other demographics of their community.”

JR Walden, Mediacom’s Chief Technology Officer, remarked that “It has taken a lot of hard work, but less than 10 months from announcing ‘Project Gigabit,’ we will have completed the upgrade of our entire broadband network to the Gigasphere platform. Deployment of this next-gen technology will considerably enhance the consumer experience today and lay the groundwork for multi-Gig capabilities in the future. With our rapid and seamless transition to this new platform, we have set our communities on an accelerated path into the gigabit era.”44

Mediacom’s network enhancements will provide a significant boost to the company’s internet speeds. The company’s new minimum entry level speed for residential customers will increase to 60 Mbps while flagship offerings of 100 Mbps and 200 Mbps will also be available. Moreover, Mediacom will begin rolling out ultra-fast 500 Mbps and 1-Gig (1000 Mbps) products on a market by market basis in the coming weeks.

Mediacom noted that the Gigasphere technology will primarily enhance speeds to its residential and small business customers. Mr. Walden said that “Mediacom Business has already been offering local businesses in our markets our Gigabit+ Fiber SolutionsTM for many years, with scalable services of up to 10-Gig speeds.”

About DOCSIS 3.1 Gigasphere Technology

The cable network is composed of a hybrid of optical fiber and coaxial cable elements, and the specification that enables use of the network for broadband is known as Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification, or DOCSIS®. Gigasphere is the brand name for products and services that use a technical specification called DOCSIS 3.1, the next generation of DOCSIS services developed and advanced by CableLabs, the U.S. cable industry’s research and development consortium, and its members. DOCSIS 3.1 provides a near-term path toward continued improvement of cable broadband performance, with network capacity of up to 10 gigabits per second in the downstream and up to 2 gigabits per second in the upstream. Equipment vendors are now supplying the necessary components. In January 2016, CableLabs certified the first DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems.

About Mediacom Communications

Mediacom Communications Corporation is the 5th largest cable operator in the U.S. serving over 1.3 million customers in smaller markets primarily in the Midwest and Southeast. Mediacom offers a wide array of information, communications and entertainment services to households and businesses, including video, high-speed data, phone, and home security and automation. Through Mediacom Business, the company provides innovative broadband solutions to commercial and public sector customers of all sizes, and sells advertising and production services under the OnMedia brand. More information about Mediacom is available at www.mediacomcable.com.

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.