- Associated Press - Friday, September 19, 2014

BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) - A communication company based in northern Minnesota is bringing faster Internet download speeds to the Bemidji area.

Paul Bunyan Communications on Thursday unveiled its plan to increase speeds up to 1 gigabit per second, Minnesota Public Radio News (https://bit.ly/1tqKcWk ) reported. Over the next four years, the company hopes to provide speeds more than six times faster than its current top speeds to the 5,000-square-mile network.

Customers in parts of Bemidji will be the first to receive the faster Internet service early next year. The company plans to charge $100 per month for the gigabit coverage, just $25 more than what it charges for 50 megabits per second.

“We’ve been preparing for this moment for 10 plus years,” said Gary Johnson, chief executive at Paul Bunyan. “We’ve invested $150 million over the last decade building our fiber network to make this possible.”

The company’s current top download speed is 150 megabits per second. With the new service, the download time for a high-definition movie file that usually takes 10 to 15 minutes with a broadband connection will be cut down to just 2 seconds, according to Brian Bissonette, marketing supervisor at Paul Bunyan.

There has been a longstanding disparity in broadband access between rural and urban areas in Minnesota and throughout the country. No other company has tried to build such a large network in such a rural area, Bissonette said, because of the expense.

“This is going to be a lot of work,” he said, “so it’s going to take a few years. But we’re going to get it done.”

Paul Bunyan’s new service won’t require miles of cable because about 90 percent of the network is already in place. Crews plan to run short cables to homes and change out hardware.

“We serve a data-centric world,” Johnson said. “We’re staying ahead of the curve.”


Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, https://www.mprnews.org

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide