Home » Wireless internet company keeps the most rural residents connected in southwest Minnesota – West Central Tribune

Wireless internet company keeps the most rural residents connected in southwest Minnesota – West Central Tribune

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granite waterfall

— Millions of dollars in federal and state grants are helping make fiber optic cables for broadband services more rural than ever before, but the wireless Internet providers that serve them are Confident in the future.

MVTV wireless logo

Stock Photo / MVTV Wireless

MVTV Wireless Internet has continued to grow its customer base since it began offering wireless Internet services in 1999. We expect growth to continue, albeit slowly, as we continue to reinvest in equipment and new technology to keep us current. A company representative told Yellow his Medicine County Commission on Dec. 27:

Operations manager Tim Johnson told the commissioner that the company continues to add new members. “(We) are not growing by leaps and bounds, but (we) add hundreds of customers each year,” he said.

Johnson and the company’s marketing director, Pam Rosenau, said MVTV continues to serve and attract more customers in some rural areas where new fiber optic cables have been installed for broadband services. Cost remains an important factor for customers deciding to connect to fiber optics, they noted, and some rural areas are seeing new housing developments after fiber is installed on existing sites.

Pam Rosenau

MVTV is a non-profit organization owned by members who subscribe to wireless Internet service. The company is headquartered in Granite Falls, and licensed base trade areas include the counties of Yellow Medicine, Chippewa, Renville, Lincoln and Lyon. Johnson said he is the leading rural provider in the area, accounting for his 25-30% of rural households.

Its overall reach is much greater. It serves rural customers scattered throughout his 27 counties in southwestern Minnesota and the border areas of South Dakota and Iowa.

The Minnesota Valley Television Improvement Association began rerunning Twin Cities television stations on UHF channels in 1960. With antenna-based television he reached over 2,500 homes. Ended UHF TV service in 2020.

According to Rosenau, MVTV has grown from a one-employee, one-tower operation that launched Internet service in 1999 to a network of 198 towers and 21 employees today. We serve a customer base of over 7,000.

During a presentation at the county board meeting, Johnson outlined the company’s efforts to continue increasing the capacity available to subscribers in the system. He is considering options for next-generation services and is awaiting the Federal Communications Commission’s decision on licensing the required spectrum.

Tim Johnson

Johnson described the company’s system as a hybrid. Fiber optic cables provide the backbone of the system, linking towers that provide wireless services to customers.

The company will continue to offer Internet services and is also interested in expanding managed services for rural customers. Farm customers are increasingly relying on internet connectivity for everything from security cameras and devices that monitor grain bins to his IT equipment that is part of tractors and field equipment. Johnson said the company has the expertise to help these farmers manage their individual farm networks, whether they are his MVTV customers or not.

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