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Fall Solar Interference Impacts PBTV Service

Service interruption of some individual channels on Paul Bunyan Television may occur during the late afternoon hours through October 15 due to solar interference.  During the interference, reception may range from minor sparkles to loss of reception or picture freezing.

Solar interference occurs each calendar year in both the spring and the fall. It does not impact internet or telephone service.

What channels are affected and when will vary through October 15.


Posted: 1 day ago.

2020 Annual Meeting By Mail Ballot Held June 24

The 2020 Annual Business Meeting of Paul Bunyan Rural Telephone Cooperative was held June 24. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the business of the members to be conducted at the Annual Meeting was done exclusively by mail ballot.  The proposed bylaw amendments were approved with 1844 in favor, 47 against.

Posted: 3 months ago.

Paul Bunyan Communications Returns Capital Credits Early; Over $4.1 Million Distributed, Largest in Cooperative History

Instead of the regular fall distribution, Paul Bunyan Communications has sent out the 2020 Capital Credit return early to its members and it is the largest return in the cooperative’s history, over $4.1 million.

Paul Bunyan Communications is a not for profit company that strives to provide the highest quality service at the most affordable rates.  As a cooperative, membership in Paul Bunyan Communications includes sharing in the financial success of the company. Profits are allocated to the members based on their proportional share of the allocable revenues.  These allocations may then be returned to the individual members through capital credit retirements.

The 2020 distribution includes 20% of credits earned in 2019 and the remaining credits earned in 2002.  For current members with a distribution amount of $100 or less, a credit has been applied to your June bill. Checks have been mailed out to members receiving more than $100.

“The state of the cooperative is strong and our all-fiber optic network, the GigaZone, is one of the largest rural gigabit networks in the country.  This enables our members to keep connected to work from home, distance learn, use telehealth services, watch streaming video, and much more.  To help our members in these current circumstances, our Board of Directors felt strongly about paying out capital credits as aggressively and as quickly as possible” said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.

“Our cooperative member-owned structure and rural focus allows us to provide technologies and a level of service to our members unlike other providers. We are well prepared and committed to provide our members the critical communication services they need with the local customer service they deserve now and well into the future.  Thank you to all of our members for being a part of Minnesota’s largest broadband cooperative!” added Randy Frisk, Board President.

“Our cooperative provides the latest in technology at cost.  There is no membership fee to join Paul Bunyan Communications and there are no annual membership dues. To become a member of the cooperative, all you need to do is subscribe to either local phone or broadband Internet service. You get the latest in technology backed up by our talented team of over 130 local employees that all live and work here” added Dave Schultz, Paul Bunyan Communications Chief Financial Officer.

If you were a member of the cooperative in 2002 and/or 2019 and accrued more than $10 in total capital credit allocations, but do not receive the credit on your account or a check by June 27, please contact Paul Bunyan Communications at (218) 444-1234 or (218) 999-1234.

Posted: 4 months ago.

HBO Max Now Available; Included with HBO subscription through PBTV

HBO Max, the new streaming service from HBO, is now available through Paul Bunyan Communications.

If you have an HBO subscription as part of your PBTV service, HBO Max is now included at no extra charge!

To access HBO Max, current HBO subscribers can:
• Download the HBO Max App or visit HBO Max Login
• Click “Sign In” (browser) or click the “Person” icon (app)
• Tap “Already Subscribed? Sign In”
• Choose “Sign In through a TV or mobile provider”
• Select Paul Bunyan Communications from the alphabetized drop down
• Sign in using your PBTV Everywhere account credentials
• Set up profiles and stream

If you do not currently subscribe to HBO, there are 2 ways you can get HBO Max from Paul Bunyan Communications:

Add HBO to your PBTV service for $19.95 per month. This subscription includes access to HBO TV networks and HBO Max.


Add just HBO Max Streaming Service for $15 per month.  No subscription to PBTV is needed.  This subscription only includes online access to HBO Max Streaming Service

Iconic, genre-defining shows like The Sopranos®. Classic films like The Wizard of Oz, as beloved today as they were years ago. The characters of Sesame Street® that we all grew up with and continue to be our kids’ favorites. HBO Max is home to the movies and shows that are truly the best in entertainment.

HBO Max and related service marks are the property of WarnerMedia Direct, LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted: 4 months ago.

Annual Meeting Exclusively by Mail Ballot June 24

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the business of the members to be conducted at the Annual Meeting will occur exclusively by mail ballot.  All votes, to be counted, must be in the form of the Official Ballot provided by the cooperative.  A properly completed ballot must be received by the cooperative no later than 3 p.m. local Bemidji, Minnesota time on June 24, 2020.

Members are advised that the cooperative will NOT hold a physical meeting.

The notification of Annual Meeting, Ballot, Bylaw Changes being voted upon and self-addressed stamped Secretary Envelope were mailed out to all members no later than June 1, 2020.

Each membership may only return one Official Ballot.

If you have any questions regarding the Annual Meeting exclusively by mail ballot, please contact us by phone, e-mail, or online chat.

Posted: 4 months ago.

2020 Cooperative Celebration Canceled; Cooperative Donates $100,000 To Area Food Shelves

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Paul Bunyan Communications Cooperative Celebration scheduled for Wednesday, May 20 has been canceled.

“While it is unfortunate to cancel our community celebration, like so many others we recognize the importance of putting the health and safety of our friends, neighbors, cooperative members, and employees first.  At the same time, we see unprecedented demands right now on the critically important work of area food shelves.  To do our part to help, we’re making a special contribution of $100,000 to our area food shelves” said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO & General Manager.

“As a cooperative, our mission statement spells out our commitment to the communities we serve.  While we’re disappointed to have to cancel our event, the Board of Directors and employees of Paul Bunyan Communications hope this contribution helps those that need it most” added Randy Frisk, Board President.

The local food shelves supported by the cooperative include:

Bemidji Area Food Shelf

The Food Shelf of Second Harvest in Grand Rapids

Red Lake Nation

Deer River Area Food Shelf

Cass Lake Food Shelf

Hubbard County Food Shelf-Park Rapids

Trinity Lutheran Food Shelf of Laporte

Northome Area Food Shelf

Walker Food Shelf

Falls Hunger Coalition of International Falls

Neighbors Helping Neighbors of Nashwauk

Northern Itasca Food Shelf of Bigfork

“We’re very proud of the Cooperative Celebration and grateful to everyone that helps us put on or attends the event.  It started as our 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2002 so this would have been the 19th annual event.  We look forward to when we can get together again,” added Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.

Posted: 6 months ago.

For Local Government Information and other COVID-19 Related Information, tune in to PBTV channel 14 (West Side) or PBTV Channel 2 (East Side)

For information on local government services within our service area and other COVID-19 related information, tune in to:

PBTV channel 14

PBTV customers in Beltrami, Hubbard, and Cass County

PBTV channel 2

PBTV customers in Itasca, Koochiching, or St. Louis County

If you are a local government or non-profit organization within our service area that has information to share, please e-mail it to

Posted: 6 months ago.

Office Lobbies and Bemidji Drive Thru Closed until further notice. Apple Service Center in Bemidji offering curbside drop off/pick up by appointment only


The safety and well-being of our membership, customers, and employees is of utmost importance.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we ask all members and customers to do business with us by phone, e-mail, or online chat.  Many technical problems can be resolved without having to send out a technician and you can pay your bill through several different methods without having to come in person.

Our office lobbies and Bemidji Drive Thru are closed until further notice.

The Apple Service Center in Bemidji is offering curbside drop off/pick up service by appointment only, please call (218) 444-4936.

We continue to offer emergency repair 24/7 which can be reached at (218) 444-1234, (218) 999-1234, or toll-free 1-888-586-3100.

We continue to monitor the situation and follow recommended practices as outlined by the CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health, adjusting our course as needed based on their recommendations.

As we monitor the situation we also may need to consider limiting technician visits to customer locations based on what is considered “necessity”. 

Steps we’ve taken to protect our employees, members, and customers:

  • Out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our members and employees, the cooperative has initiated a pause on all work related travel outside of our service region except in special circumstances.
  • Employees who travel by mass transit are required to stay out of the office for 14 calendar days upon their return until further notice.
  • Where feasible, employees whose job does not require customer facing interaction will work from home.
  • We are committed to working with employees at increased risk for contracting COVID-19 to make reasonable accommodations with regard to work arrangements.
  • We’ve developed a contingency plan should an employee contract COVID-19, where we will take all necessary preventative matters to isolate and minimize risk of spread.
  • We have shared best practices for minimizing risk of infection with employees and directed them to helpful resources.

While we enjoy visiting with you in person, your safety, along with our employees’ safety, is our utmost priority.

Thank you for your understanding. We are committed to you.

Posted: 7 months ago.

Spring Solar Interference Affects PBTV Service

Service interruption of some individual channels may occur for approximately 10 minutes during the late afternoon hours over the next 10-15 day period due to solar interference.  During the interference, reception may range from minor sparkles to loss of reception or picture freezing.

Solar interference occurs each calendar year in both the spring and the fall.

What channels are affected and when will vary over the next 10-15 days.

For more information on solar interference visit

Posted: 7 months ago.

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


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!


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.

Posted: 7 months ago.