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Paul Bunyan Communications Returns Capital Credit Early; Over $3.5 Million Distributed to Members

To help its members on the road back from the pandemic, Paul Bunyan Communications has distributed a Capital Credit return early to its membership again this year.  Over $3.5 million has been returned to members of Paul Bunyan Communications, the cooperative announced today.

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 the opportunity to share in the financial success of the company. When profits are earned they 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.

For current members with a distribution amount less than $100, a credit has been applied to your June bill. Checks have been mailed out for distributions of $100 or more.

“It’s been a very challenging year for everyone and it has been amazing to see our region come together in the face of all the challenges of the pandemic.  Our cooperative has continued working hard behind the scenes to get those without Internet connected and support our communities.  We wanted to help our membership again this year by returning their share of our success now rather than in the fall as we normally do” said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.

“For over 65 years we have been providing the latest in technology at cost.  There is no membership fee to join Paul Bunyan Communications and there are no annual membership dues. All you need to do is subscribe to either one line of local phone or Broadband Internet service and you become a member. 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.

“In a highly competitive industry with national competitors our cooperative has been successful because we put our region and our members first.  We don’t have to worry about customers all over the place like in Sioux Falls, Fargo, Minneapolis, or anywhere else. Our investments go here, back into our network, our services, and our communities.” added Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.

If you were a member of the cooperative in 2003 and/or 2020 and accrued more than $10 in total capital credit allocations, but do not receive the credit on your account or a check by June 24, please contact Paul Bunyan Communications at (218) 444-1234 or (218) 999-1234.


Posted: 2 weeks ago.

2021 Election Election Results; 2 Virtual PBC Events Held May 26

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Paul Bunyan Communications Cooperative Annual Meeting actions were conducted by mail only.  An election was held to consider recommended changes to update the Cooperative By-Laws. The proposed bylaw amendments were approved with 1160 in favor, 70 against.  In conjunction, for the first time, the cooperative held two special on-line events for members.

“Wizdom with Woz” was an exclusive event for the cooperative’s business members and featured a lengthy conversation with Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak and Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager, Gary Johnson about technology, education, communications and the future.

“What an honor for our cooperative to have the pioneer of personal computer technology join us and share his thoughts and experiences with our business members.  He has had a profound impact worldwide and for him to take the time to be with us and acknowledge the work our cooperative is doing to keep our region connected is very humbling,” added Johnson.  Mr. Wozniak’s conversation with Mr. Johnson included humorous technology-related anecdotes from his youth as well as a discussion about the early days of Apple.  Mr. Wozniak discussed the evolution of communication technologies from his childhood ham radio days to Paul Bunyan Communications’ fiber broadband network.

“The Challenge of Change with Joe Theismann” was the second virtual event held and it was open to all Paul Bunyan Communications Internet customers.

“Given the year we’ve all just went through, The Challenge of Change presentation was very fitting. Those who saw it live, including myself, can’t forget seeing Joe’s leg get broken by Lawrence Taylor on Monday Night Football.  It’s an iconic image from that generation and while that was the moment Joe’s football career ended, he used his talent and high energy to handle the unforeseen change.  Having him share how he approached such a quick, dramatic change in his life was inspiring” said Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.

Posted: 3 weeks ago.

“The Challenge of Change” with Joe Theismann, a free virtual event for Paul Bunyan Communications Internet Customers Wednesday, May 26 at 2:30 p.m.

All Paul Bunyan Communications Internet customers are invited to a free Virtual Event, The Challenge of Change with Joe Theismann Wednesday, May 26 starting at 2:30 p.m. online at

You MUST use your Paul Bunyan Communications Internet connection to view.

Drawing from personal experience, Joe Theismann knows how to deal with the Challenge of Change.  On November 18, 1985, he was on top of his game -a two-time NFL Pro Bowl player and the most productive quarterback in the history of the Washington football team.  Later that evening, he found himself in a hospital bed with a compound fracture to his leg, shattering both his career and his boyhood dream.  At age thirty-five, he was faced with starting over his personal life and professional career.  In this stirring presentation, you’ll learn how to tackle change by keeping a positive mental outlook and committing to a vision that guides you to the top.

We’ll also provide an update on the cooperative and you can enter to win door prizes too.  This virtual event is open to all Paul Bunyan Communications Internet customers and you MUST use your Paul Bunyan Communications Internet service to watch.

Posted: 1 month ago.

PBTV Customer Sarah Reiners of Bemidji Wins Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards 2021 Sweepstakes Prize Pack from ViacomCBS

We are excited to announce that Sarah Reiners of Bemidji has won a Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards 2021 Sweepstakes Prize Pack from ViacomCBS. Sarah is a member of Paul Bunyan Communications, and we are an affiliate of ViacomCBS, that participated in the sweepstakes.

As a sweepstakes prize pack winner, Sarah will receive the following:

  • Official Nickelodeon Slime
  • Kid’s Choice Awards chocolate Blimp smash cake
  • Karaoke party light-up boombox Sing-station
  • (2) Adult wireless Bluetooth headphones
  • (2) Kids wireless Bluetooth headphones
  • (4) Insulated Hydroflask stainless steel water bottles
  • (2) Sets of Hydroflask caps
  • (2) Sets of Hydroflask handles & bottoms
  • (4) Color-changing KCA cups
  • (4) Nickelodeon/KCA crazy straws
  • Various glow-in-the-dark accessories
  • Various Nickelodeon/KCA customization stickers

“This is so cool!  I try to enter all the contests that Paul Bunyan Communications puts on and saw the information on their Facebook page.  I clicked on it, filled out the form, and wouldn’t you know I won!  My kids are super excited,” said Reiners.

“As a television service provider, we have the opportunity to participate in and promote some national sweepstakes through ViacomCBS. Nickelodeon is one of those networks and if you have kids, odds are you have had Nickelodeon on at some point.  We’re excited for Sarah and her family on winning all that cool stuff.” added Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.

Pictured are Sarah and her husband Daniel, sons Dylan, Evan, Kade, and daughters Abigale and Sophie.

Congratulations Sarah!

Posted: 1 month ago.

Annual Meeting Exclusively by Mail Ballot May 26

Due to the continued 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 May 26, 2021.

The notification of Annual Meeting, Ballot, Bylaw Changes being voted upon and self-addressed stamped Secretary Envelope are to be mailed out to all members no later than May 12, 2021.

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: 1 month ago.

FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Open for Enrollment

The Federal Communications Commission has launched a temporary program to help families and households struggling to afford Internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.

Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. Our cooperative does not sell computers or tablets so we are not a participating provider for the equipment benefit option.

Eligible households can enroll through Paul Bunyan Communications or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) using an online or mail in application.  You can learn more about the benefit, including eligibility and enrollment information, by visiting, or by calling 833-511-0311

Posted: 2 months ago.

GigaZone Gaming Championship 5 Official Results; Tournaments, Door Prizes, and CosPlay Contest Held Virtually 3 Consecutive Saturdays in April

GigaZone Gaming Championship 5 was held virtually over 3 consecutive Saturdays with a different tournament each day, door prizes, and a CosPlay contest.  Here are the official results:

Saturday, April 10- Overwatch 6v6 Community Tournament

1st Team YES                                                                $1,800 ($300 per player)

Kelly Whipple, Kylie Elliott, Tien Nguyen, Connor Broderick, and Coby LaCroix from Bemidji and Isaak R Smith from Deer River.

2nd  The Clean Up Crew                                            $1,200 ($200 per player)

Thomas Berge of Bemidji, Ethan Hunt and Ewan Newbold of Pine River, Tristan Jourdain from Red Lake, Jacob Peterson from Red Lake Falls, and Kohl Belgrade-Gotchie from Akeley.

3rd  ISSA Team                                                              $600 ($100 per player)

All from Bemidji including Tristan Lawrence, Naziah Matt, Devon Rainey, James Jones, Matoskah Veaux, and Dakota Veaux

Saturday, April 17 – Madden 21 Tournament

1st  Dain Walters, Grand Rapids                               $500

2nd Adam Scott, Brainerd                                          $400

3rd  Nick Miller, Brainerd                                          $300

4th  Drew Holden, Bemidji                                         $200

Saturday, April 24- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

1st Hunter Branson-2019 Defending Champ         $500

2nd Ronnie Nguyen- Bemidji                                    $400

3rd  Kenneth Crocker- Grand Rapids                        $300

4th  Noland Anderson- Bemidji                                $200

CosPlay Contest-

1st Roselynn Jones, Cass Lake                                   $300

2nd David Harper, Ponsford                                       $200

3rd  Khoriana Vaerconum, Hibbing                          $100

CosPlay Popular Vote Winners-                               $200 each

Hannah Elizabeth Cheney – Cook

Roselynn Jones, inquisitor – Cass Lake

Grand Prize Drawing Winners- Will be Updated Once Confirmed with Winners

Playstation 5          Mary Sullivan, Bemidji

Xbox Series X        Michael Strauch, Bemidji

Occulus Qwest 2   Ningozis White, Bemidji

“What an incredible job our team did in pivoting to a virtual event his year!  I’m very proud of all the hard work and dedication put in to provide these three weekends of online gaming fun for the region,” said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager

This one-of-a-kind regional gaming event is free to play or watch and is being held virtually due to the pandemic.  It showcases Paul Bunyan Communications’ IT and web development team which custom built and integrated much of the online technology to make the virtual event possible.  The event leverages the speed of the GigaZone one of the largest rural all-fiber optic Gigabit networks in the country and the entire event is run off a single residential GigaZone Internet connection.

“The GigaZone provides extreme speed and low latency which are critical for the best online gaming experience and the GigaZone Gaming Championship showcases just that,” added Leo Anderson, Paul Bunyan Communications Technology Experience Manager.

This Paul Bunyan Communications event includes the talents of many local partners including NLFX, Accidently Cool Games, Northern Amusement, as well support from several regional and national partners.

For more information on the GigaZone Gaming Championship visit

Posted: 2 months ago.

Dain Walters of Grand Rapids Wins GigaZone Gaming Championship 5 Madden 21 Tournament; Adam Scott of Brainerd 2nd

The second of three consecutive weekends of GigaZone Gaming Championship 5 was held Saturday, April 17 with the Madden 21 Tournament.

Dain Walters of Grand Rapids won 1st Place and $500.

Adam Scott of Brainerd got 2nd Place and $400. Adam had finished in 3rd place in 2017 Madden Tournament.

Nick Miller of Brainerd finished in 3rd place for $300.  Nick won the 2019 Madden Tournament.

Drew Holden of Bemidji finished in 4th place for $200.

In addition to the Madden 21 Tournament, there were door prize drawings throughout the day and the CosPlay Contest accepting entries.  Super Smash Bros is the featured tournament on the final day of GigaZone Gaming Championship 5 this Saturday, April 24. The tournament is free to play and open to anyone who lives within the 218 area code but registration is required at  Anyone interested should register now before they are full.

Posted: 2 months ago.

Winners of the 5th Paul Bunyan Communications Pick It March Mania Challenge

Paul Bunyan Communications is excited to announce the winners of the 5th Annual Pick-it March Mania Challenge.  476 participants entered the free online contest to pick the winners of the college basketball tournament games for a chance to win a credit on a Paul Bunyan Communications account.

 The top 10 finishers all won a credit on their Paul Bunyan Communications account.

1st Place-         Craig Peterson, Bemidji                    $500 credit

2nd Place-        Cindy Leach, Park Rapids                $250 credit

3rd Place-         William Molash, Laporte                 $100 credit

4th Place-         Keith Bartholomaus, Laporte          $50 credit

5th Place-         Alan Afton                                            $50 credit

6th Place-         Dennis Weimann, Bemidji               $50 credit

7th Place-         Tyler Steinke, Grand Rapids            $50 credit

8th Place-         Chad Bessler, Laporte                       $50 credit

9th Place-         Chad Bowman                                     $50 credit

10th Place-       Dan Rickert, Bemidji                         $50 credit

Random Prize Drawing:

Susan Steingraber                                                       $100 Credit

Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to all who participated!

Posted: 3 months ago.

Deer River and Nevis Boys Basketball Teams Advance to State; Quarterfinals Wednesday

Congratulations to the Deer River and Nevis Boys Basketball Teams on making it to the state tournament!

Deer River Boys Basketball

The Warriors first game will be against Badger/GB-MR at 6 p.m. this Wednesday, March 31 in Pequot Lakes. This game is not scheduled to be televised but can be seen online at for a fee.

Should the Warriors win their first game, the semifinal game will be on Wednesday, April 7 at Noon at Target Center. The semifinals and finals are scheduled to be broadcast on KSTC Channel 45 or in 545 in HD (west side) and Me-TV Channel 20 (east side) and streamed at  The championship game is on Saturday, April 10 at 1 p.m. at Target Center. All the Warriors state tournament games can be heard on KMFY 96.9 FM & online at

Nevis Boys Basketball

The Tigers first game will be against Hancock at 5 p.m. this Wednesday in Perham. This game is not scheduled to be televised but can be seen online at for a fee.

Should the Tigers win their first game, the semifinal game will be on Wednesday, April 7 at 10 a.m. at Target Center. The semifinals and finals are scheduled to be broadcast on KSTC Channel 45 or in 545 in HD (west side) and Me-TV Channel 20 (east side) and streamed at  The championship game is on Saturday, April 10 at 1 p.m. at Target Center.

Good luck from all of us at Paul Bunyan Communications!

Posted: 3 months ago.