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SpongeBob SquarePantsNickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants is coming to Park Rapids June 30

Paul Bunyan Communications is bringing Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants to the 2nd Street Stage festivities in downtown Park Rapids on Thursday, June 30 from 6-8 p.m.

Bring the kids and your camera to get free pictures with SpongeBob SquarePants and all guests receive a free gift, parents included!

The Park Rapids Downtown Business Association 2nd Street Stage event on June 30 is sponsored by Paul Bunyan Communications will feature the music of the WoodPicks, a beer garden, food vendors, and family activities on 2nd Street between Main Avenue and Highway 71. Bring your own chair.

The WoodPicks are a five member band from Thief River Falls that came together in 2005 when the band started playing northern Minnesota venues. Their acoustic mix includes Gospel, Bluegrass, Country and Americana music. One of their original arrangements, "Barn Again!" was included in a collection of rural Americana for the Smithsonian Institute. They perform at county fairs, bluegrass festivals, urban and rural venues and corporate events.

Paul Bunyan CommunicationsPBC Offices Closed Saturday, July 2 and Monday, July 4 in observation of Independence Day

The offices of Paul Bunyan Communications will be closed Saturday, July 2 and Monday, July 4 in observation of the Independence Day holiday. Emergency 24 hour repair will be available and can be reached at 1-800-475-8309.

Happy Independence Day from all of us at Paul Bunyan Communications!

Dora the ExplorerPaul Bunyan Communications is bringing Dora the Explorer to the Deer River Wild Rice Festival July 9

Paul Bunyan Communications is a proud major sponsor of the Deer River Lion's Club Wild Rice Festival and is bringing Dora the Explorer from Nickelodeon to the 68th annual festival on Saturday, July 9. From 11 a.m.-2 p.m. bring the kids and your camera to get pictures with the loveable character from Nickelodeon and take part in the many various activities going on at the world's largest wild rice festival!

  • For a complete list of the weekend's events, which includes fireworks, live music, and more, visit www.wildricefestival.com.

GigaZone: Gigabit Fiber Network from Paul Bunyan CommunicationThe GigaZone Activated for Over 3,400 More Locations

Over 3,400 more locations in the Bemidji and Grand Rapids area have been upgraded and are now in the GigaZone.

"We continue to make great progress on upgrading our network to incorporate even more member locations into the GigaZone. It's exciting, particularly for those who are now able to get Gigabit Internet services, and we will continue to do as much as we can to bring the GigaZone to all our members and communities we serve as fast as we can." said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.

GigaZone: Gigabit Fiber Network from Paul Bunyan CommunicationThe GigaZone is currently available to over 17,400 locations including all of the cooperative's service area of rural Park Rapids, Lake George, Trout Lake Township east of Grand Rapids, most of Grand Rapids, and areas of Bemidji.

Paul Bunyan Communications recently mailed out information to the new locations in the Bemidji and Grand Rapids area that are now in the GigaZone and the cooperative has an online map showing the active areas of the GigaZone as well as those areas that will be constructed/upgraded in the future.

"Lots of folks are wondering when the GigaZone will reach their location. The online map of the active areas and plans for this year is a great resource for those interested in checking on their specific location." 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 local and long distance GigaZone voice 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.

Minnesota DEEDPaul Bunyan Communications awarded State of Minnesota Border to Border Broadband Grant for portions of Central Itasca County

Cooperative will bring Broadband network to over 1,250 locations

Paul Bunyan CommunicationsPaul 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 in partnership with the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) and Itasca County.

As a result, the cooperative will begin expansion construction next spring that will pass over 1,250 locations in portions of Balsam Township, Lawrence Township, Nashwauk Township, and the city of Taconite. Final expansion plans that will determine the locations to be passed are expected by early spring.

Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB)"This is very exciting news for so many people who are currently without access to broadband in central Itasca County and it is a truly collaborative effort that makes it possible. 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 support offered by both IRRRB and Itasca County has been phenomenal.Additionally, the Itasca Economic Development Corporation wasinstrumental in building community support and providing guidancethrough the grant application process. The irony is these areas will not only get Broadband access, they'll go from no real access to becoming a part of one of the largest rural Gigabit networks in the country. Many will go from satellite and dial up to speeds of up to a Gigabit per second," said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.

Itasca Economic Development CorporationPaul Bunyan Communications expects to finalize the expansion plans by early spring and will contact all locations along the expansion route shortly thereafter. Construction will start in the early summer and will be completed by June 30, 2017. While the general area of the expansion is determined, the specific locations that it will pass will depend upon the final network design. Those in the region interested on keeping up to date on the project can look for updates on the Paul Bunyan website or join the Paul Bunyan Communications Central Itasca Fiber Project Group on Facebook.

"I am really excited about this project and the positive impact it will have on people's lives. Students will have access to educational resources, employees will be able to work from home, seniors will be able to stay in their homes longer with telemedicine, and a rural medical clinic will finally get the connectivity it has needed for years." added Steve Howard, Paul Bunyan Communications Information Technology and Development Manager.

"In addition to the local partnerships we've formed that makes this a reality, no project would have gotten off the ground if it wasn't for 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 in central Itasca County!" said Johnson.

GigaZone: Gigabit Fiber Network from Paul Bunyan CommunicationAll 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.