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GigaZone: Gigabit Fiber Network from Paul Bunyan CommunicationThe GigaZone Comes to the City of Grand Rapids

2,100 locations now in the GigaZone, the rest of city expected by end of 2015

The GigaZone is quickly becoming one of the largest Gigabit networks in the United States. While only activated just 9 months ago, Paul Bunyan Communications has announced over 2,100 locations in the Grand Rapids area have recently been upgraded and are now in the GigaZone.

"When we announced this initiative a year ago we made a commitment to bring the GigaZone to our entire service area which we know will take a few years. That said, I did not anticipate we would be able to reach so many locations so quickly. What a testament to our entire team. It's exciting, particularly for those who are included this year, but 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 Communication"I'm not aware of another Gigabit project that has been activated to so many in such a short period of time. It's a benefit of having the region's only all fiber optic network, a project that started in 2004 and is nearly completed. This provides the capacity to roll out the GigaZone much more quickly and efficiently that most other providers. It also will allow us to meet the increasing demands of broadband innovations" said Steve Howard, Paul Bunyan Communications IT & Development Manager.

The GigaZone is currently available to over 9,400 locations including all of the cooperative's service area of rural Park Rapids, Lake George, Trout Lake Township east of Grand Rapids, and areas of Bemidji and now Grand Rapids. GigaZone upgrades are expected by the end of the year in the remaining areas of Grand Rapids.

Paul Bunyan Communications recently mailed out information to the new locations in the Grand Rapids area that are now in the GigaZone and the cooperative has an online map available showing the active areas of the GigaZone as well as those areas that will be constructed/upgraded during the remainder of 2015.

"We have already seen the demand for GigaZone services from the region with lots of people wondering when it 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.

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.

Paul Bunyan Communications Named Certified Gig-Capable Provider by NTCA–The Rural Broadband AssociationPaul Bunyan Communications Named Certified Gig-Capable Provider by NTCA, The Rural Broadband Association

Paul Bunyan Communications was recently recognized by NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, the premier association representing nearly 900 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America, as a Certified Gig-Capable Provider for delivering gigabit broadband speeds and enabling technological innovation in the Lake George and Park Rapids communities.

As a Certified Gig-Capable Provider, Paul Bunyan Communications joins a national campaign to build awareness and industry recognition of community-based telecom providers that have built communications networks capable of delivering Internet speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second, which is 100 times faster than those currently available in many U.S. households.

"I applaud Paul Bunyan Communications for its commitment to delivering the Internet's fastest speeds—an accomplishment worthy of much praise considering the unique and challenging circumstances small, community-based telecommunications providers operate under every day in serving some of our country's most rural and remote communities," said NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield. "By building a gigabit-capable network, Paul Bunyan Communications has not only overcome these challenges, but also shattered conventional benchmarks for broadband speed to enable cutting-edge technologies that drive innovation and promote economic development in their communities, region and nationwide."

To achieve certification, telecommunications companies must show that gigabit technology is currently commercially available within 95% of one or more exchanges within its serving territory and that such service can be provided without new trenching or stringing new aerial facilities. This statement must be confirmed by a letter from an engineering firm or other independent source involved in the company's network planning, deployment or operation.

ShowtimeSix Showtime Networks Added in High Definition

Paul Bunyan Communications has added six Showtime networks in high definition to PBTV HD service. In order to receive Shwotime networks in HD, customers must subscribe to Showtime and PBTV HD service.

These new HD networks can be found on the following channels

Showtime Channels SD HD
Showtime 440 940
Showtime 2 441 941
Showtime Extreme 443 943
Showtime Showcase 444 944
Showtime Beyond 447 947
Movie Channel 449 949


MSNBC HDMSNBC HD and New Gaming Network GINX-TV HD Added to PBTV HD Service

Paul Bunyan Communications has added MSNBC HD and a new network geared for video gaming to PBTV HD service, GINX-TV HD.

MSNBC HD is available to all PBTV HD subscribers on channel 824. 

GINX-TV HDGINX-TV HD is on channel 657 and is available to all PBTV HD subscribers. The home of video gaming on TV, GINX is the only international channel dedicated to video gaming 24/7. GINX covers a variety of experiences of play ranging from smartphone apps, retro gaming, popular culture and eSports. Keeping in touch with its dynamic, tech-hungry audience and ideally suited to complement entertainment or sports offerings, GINX TV has its finger on the pulse of the gaming world. For more information, visit www.ginx.tv.

PBTV HD service can be added to PBTV service for $9.95 per month. Consumers must have standard PBTV service to subscribe to PBTV HD service. $9.95 monthly charge for PBTV HD is an equipment fee, not a programming fee. Additional subscription(s) may be required to receive all HD channels available. There is a one month minimum subscription required. Service availability depends upon location and some restrictions may apply.

Weather Channel and WGN AmericaWeather Channel, WGN America Added in High Definition

Paul Bunyan Communications has added two more networks in high definition to PBTV HD service.

WGN America HD is on channel 600 and is available to all PBTV HD subscribers. WGN America features entertainment programming including the original, scripted series "Salem," "Manhattan," "Outsiders" and "Ten Commandments," along with first-run syndicated series, blockbuster movies and live sports. For more information, visit www.wgnamerica.com.

The Weather Channel HD is on channel 800 and is available to all PBTV HD subscribers. Through The Weather Channel, weather.com, Weather Underground, Intellicast.com and third-party publishing partners, the Weather Channel provides millions of people every day with the world's best weather forecasts, content and data, connecting with them through television, online, mobile and tablet screens.

Paul Bunyan CommunicationsPaul Bunyan Communications Returns over $2.8 million to Members

Paul Bunyan Communications has mailed out over $2.8 million in capital credits to members. The payouts include the remaining 50% unretired balance from 2001 and 20% capital credits earned in 2014. All subscribers who were a member in either of those years and accrued over $10 total in capital credits should have or will receive a check in the next few days. The use of capital credit allocations are the cooperative's way of individually securing each member's share of the cooperative's net margins.

"We are very proud to once again issue capital credit returns to our members," said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, "our cooperative remains strong because of the high quality of services we provide, loyalty of our members, leadership of the Board of Directors, and our dedicated employees."

As a cooperative, Paul Bunyan Communications is owned by the members it serves. Services that apply towards capital credit returns include local phone service, Paul Bunyan Long Distance, Internet service from Paul Bunyan Net, Paul Bunyan Television, and Minnesota Gold Yellow Page Advertising.

"It's the cooperative advantage and a win-win for our members. They get high quality communication services at affordable rates with a high level of customer service and they share in our success," said Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor, "the return a member receives is based on their patronage and our profit margin from that particular year."

"It's rare that a customer gets money back from a service provider," added Dave Schultz, Chief Finance Officer, "the cooperative structure allows us to give back to those who make us successful. It is truly providing service at cost."

If you were a member of the cooperative in 2001 and/or 2014 and accrued more than $10 in total capital credit allocations, but do not receive a check by September 26, please contact Paul Bunyan Communications at (218) 444-1234 or (218) 999-1234.

Steve Saunders, CEO and Founder of Light Reading (left) and Steve Howard, Paul Bunyan Communications Information and Technology Development Manager (right)Paul Bunyan Communications Wins 2015 Leading Lights National Award

GigaZone Named Most Innovative Gigabit Broadband Service

Paul Bunyan Communications has been named the winner of the Most Innovative Gigabit Broadband Service for its GigaZone project in the Light Reading 2015 Leading Lights awards program. The national award recognizes the communications provider that has launched the most innovative Gigabit Broadband service during the past year. The other finalists for the award were large national or regional corporations including AT&T, C Spire, and TDS Telecom.

The cooperative announced the gigabit project last fall and it will be one of the largest gigabit networks in rural America when the project is done. Already over 7,800 locations in northern Minnesota are in the GigaZone and an estimated 20,000+ will be reached by the end of this year. The project is expected to take a few years but is progressing ahead of schedule. Once completed it will include the cooperative's entire service territory of over 5,000 square miles.

"We are honored to receive this award for our GigaZone project. It is one of the first gigabit network initiatives that will encompass a large rural area and I think that is significant. Many of the gigabit network projects taking place are in small portions of densely populated metropolitan areas. Too often, the more challenging rural America gets overlooked. That's not the case here in northern Minnesota and we are thrilled that Light Reading acknowledged our efforts." said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager

The Leading Lights program, the telecom industry's most prestigious awards program, focuses on next-generation communications technologies, applications, services, and strategies. The Leading Lights winners were announced at an awards dinner at Chicago's Field Museum on Monday, June 8 to coincide with the Big Telecom Event.

"The volume and quality of the entries we received across our 24 categories shows how seriously the industry takes these awards, which are now in their 11th year," stated Light Reading Editor-in-Chief Ray Le Maistre. "The winners are an exceptional group of companies that have every right to be proud of their achievements and progress during the past year." added Le Maistre.

Judging was conducted by Light Reading's editors and the analyst team from Heavy Reading.