Home » Paul Bunyan Communications to Expand Broadband Internet Access Thanks to State Grant

Paul Bunyan Communications to Expand Broadband Internet Access Thanks to State Grant

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Internet access, as we know it, has become a critical service for businesses, industries, and everyday life. Now, thanks to an interborder broadband development grant from the state, Paul Bunyan Communications plans to extend his broadband internet access to additional rural areas in northern Minnesota.

“Minnesota has had a Border to Border grant program for five or six years, and it’s really leveraged providers to get to underserved areas without high-speed internet. Access now,” explains Communications Marketing Supervisor Blaine Bissonette. “So he received one of the grants to expand the network to more areas in Aitken, St. Louis and Itasca counties.”

As a result of this grant, Paul Bunyan Communications is currently developing expansion plans, with the necessary construction work to reach a minimum of 1,035 locations.

“These plans are obviously very complex, time-consuming and costly, so you need to plan well in advance,” said Bissonnette. “So the areas that will receive the grant this year he will be built in 2024 and will be available for service in the fall of that year, or the winter of 2025.”

Future expansion projects are estimated to cost just over $7 million, with Border-to-Border grants set to cover just over $3 million.

“Paul Bunyan covers the rest, with the exception of a few townships that have contributed to the project,” Bissonnette explained. “It really helps to express their township’s interest in joining this network and helps our application get the grant.”

Paul Bunyan Communications hopes this expansion will benefit the locations it plans to serve in the future.

“We are very proud of what we are already doing and are excited whenever we can get a grant that will allow us to expand it to people who have none,” Bissonnette said. “As you can imagine, all of these places lack quality broadband, so they don’t have the luxury of surfing the internet and doing whatever they please that many of us take for granted. You can stream videos, work from home, do telemedicine, and use many familiar applications if you have broadband, but these people are really limited in what they can do. Big deal.”

According to Paul Bunyan Communications, the expansion will provide broadband fiber optic service to eight townships in Aitkin, Itasca and St. Louis counties.

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