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2020 Upgrade & Expansion Plans: GigaZone Upgrades Coming to Remaining Areas of Cohasset and Blackduck; Expansion Coming to Pennington Area

To see if you are in the GigaZone or when it may reach you visit GigaZone Availability Map

Upgrades

Every year since 2004 our cooperative has been upgrading portions of our current service area from the older copper based network to our new, all-fiber optic network the GigaZone. It’s work that takes a lot of time and investment, but we are excited that this immense project is almost completed. 2020 upgrade construction will include all the remaining locations of Blackduck and Cohasset not already reached by previous upgrade work. Once these upgrade areas are operational, 99% of the cooperative’s current service territory will be served by our all-fiber optic network and have access to the additional GigaZone services it can provide!

Expansion

The cooperative started expanding into new competitive service areas in 1999 with the overbuild of Bemidji and we’ve continued to expand each year to bring broadband Internet services to those without it and increase our membership base. Past expansion projects have included Bemidji, Cohasset, Grand Rapids, Cass Lake, Lake George, LaPrairie, Park Rapids, Coleraine, Big Falls and other rural areas of Itasca, Hubbard, Beltrami, and St. Louis Counties.

2020 Expansion

This year we will expand further in the Pennington area to the east of Cass Lake and north of Hwy 2.

 2021 Expansion

Recently the cooperative also received a Broadband Grant from the State of Minnesota’s Border to Border Grant Program to expand to an additional 1,353 locations in parts of the Leech Lake Indian Reservation and rural portions of Cass, Itasca, Koochiching and St. Louis counties. Construction in these areas will start in 2021 with services expected to be available by spring of 2022.