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Thousands Attend 2024 GigaZone Gaming Championship & TechXpo April 20

An estimated crowd of nearly 4,000 attended the GigaZone Gaming Championship & TechXpo on Saturday, April 20 at the Sanford Center. The event featured free gaming, numerous gaming tournaments, over 25 technology exhibitors, door prizes, and special guest Danielle Feinberg from Pixar Animation Studios.

This one-of-a-kind regional gaming event showcases Paul Bunyan Communications’ IT and web development team which custom built and integrated much of the online technology and leverages the speed of the GigaZone one of the largest rural all-fiber optic Gigabit networks in the country.

Team Mingle Master from Bemidji- Ayden Sander, Cameron Oakgrove, and Milo Collings won the seventh annual GigaZone Gaming Championship and the top team prize of $900.  Team 50 Nations with Tyler Bos from Austin, David Bos from Brainerd, and Trevor Bos from Brainerd took home 2nd place and the $600 team prize.  A total of 32 of northern Minnesota’s best Rocket League teams competed on the main stadium stage in the GigaZone Championship Arena.

In addition to the Rocket League Tournament, there was several other open tournaments including Fortnite, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Madden 25, and Overwatch 2, Valorant, Super Smash Bros. plus high score competitions in Bemidji Drift, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Smugglers Revenge, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, and Donkey Kong.  There were also two tournaments for juniors under 13 and Magic the Gathering Booster Drafts.

Official Results of the 2024 GigaZone Gaming Championship

“Again this year I’m blown away by the talent and energy on display and how people, technology, and fun come together at our event.  Everyone, including the participants, exhibitors, and our Paul Bunyan Communications team we’re all-in, showcasing the tech talent and enthusiasm that exists in our region.  I’m proud our broadband cooperative can produce and host such an exciting event!”, said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO.

.“Our cooperative continues to expand one of the largest rural fiber gigabit networks in the country and that brings many advantages to our members.  The GigaZone provides extreme speed and low latency which are critical for the best online gaming experience and the GigaZone Gaming Championship & TechXpo showcases just that,” added Leo Anderson, Paul Bunyan Communications Technology Experience Manager.

“A huge shout out to our entire team for putting on one of the most unique events of this type in the country.  Thank you to all of the exhibitors that were a part of the TechXpo and our local partners, we couldn’t do this without them. We’re already looking forward to next year!” added Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.

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

For more information on the GigaZone Gaming Championship visit www.gigazonegaming.com

For more information about the GigaZone TechXpo visit www.gigazonetechxpo.com

 

Posted: 3 days ago.

2024 Pick It March Mania Challenge Winners

We are excited to announce the winners of the 8th Pick-it March Mania Challenge! A record 833 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-         Jacob Amble, Bemidji  $500 credit

2nd Place-       Dean Britton, Menahga $500 credit

3rd Place-         Sean Mull, Britt  $100 credit

4th Place-         Dennis Bowman  $50 credit

5th Place-         John Foster, Cohasset  $50 credit

6th Place-         Darin Kapphahn, Laporte $50 credit

7th Place-         John Skrbec, Grand Rapids  $50 credit

8th Place-         Sarah Markert, Bemidji $50 credit

9th Place-         Anthony Djonne, Bemidji  $50 credit

10th Place-       Christina Brown, Bovey  $50 credit

Random Prize Drawing:

Jonathan Fraundorf, Bemidji   (666th place)  $100 Credit

Posted: 2 weeks ago.

The 2024 GigaZone Gaming Championship & TechXpo with special guest Danielle Feinberg from Pixar Animation Studios is Saturday, April 20; Free admission and free gaming for all! Doors open at 10 a.m.

The 2024 GigaZone Gaming Championship & TechXpo is Saturday, April 20 at the Sanford Center in Bemidji.  Admission and all the gaming is FREE!  Doors open at 10 a.m. with special guest Danielle Feinberg from Pixar Animation Studios on the main stage at 2 p.m.

You can open game on various consoles, arcade games, and pinball or enter one of the many gaming tournaments for cash & prizes.  The feature tournaments this year include Rocket League, Overwatch 2, Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Madden 24, Valorant, Fortnite, and more.

Registration for all tournaments will start at the Sanford Center April 20 at 10 a.m. and it is first come, first in until full.  All tournaments are FREE to enter but you will need to a GigaZone Gaming Player Profile to register that day so create that now at www.gigazonegaming.com

The GigaZone TechXpo will feature over 25 exhibitors that will expose a growing regional audience to technology innovation and potential career opportunities in technology right here in northern Minnesota.

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

 

 

Posted: 4 weeks ago.

Julia Frenzel of Blackduck wins 2024 Youth Tour Essay Contest and trip to Washington D.C.

Paul Bunyan Communications has announced that Julia Frenzel from Blackduck is the winner of the cooperative’s 2024 Youth Tour Essay Contest.  Julia is homeschooled, is in 10h grade, and is the daughter of Chris & Jackie Frenzel. She will attend the 2024 Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. June 3-7, with all expenses paid by Paul Bunyan Communications.

The trip features a comprehensive overview of the telecommunications industry, including careers in telecom, the critical role telecommunications plays in rural America, and how legislative and regulatory decisions affect the industry.  The tour allows youth to meet with members of Congress who represent rural constituents.  They also participate in educational sessions about the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Students visit some of the nation’s most historic sites, including the Smithsonian Museums and a beautiful night tour of Washington D.C.

The Foundation for Rural Service is dedicated to informing and to improving the quality of life throughout rural America.  Each year, it organizes the Youth Tour, designed to educate rural youth about the telecommunications industry and the federal political process.  The FRS is a subsidiary of the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA), of which Paul Bunyan Communications is a member.

This is the 27th year that Paul Bunyan Communications has participated in sending a local high school student to the Youth Tour.

 

 

 

Posted: 1 month ago.

Register Now for the FREE Paul Bunyan Communications Pick It March Mania Challenge! Games start March 21

Register now for the Paul Bunyan Communications Pick-it March Mania Challenge, a free online contest for participants to pick the winners for the 2024 college basketball tournament for a chance to win a credit on your Paul Bunyan Communications account!

The top 10 finishers will win a credit on their Paul Bunyan Communications account. First place winner will receive a $500 credit, second place is a $250 credit.  There is also a random bonus prize of $100 credit from among all who register.

Participants can register for the contest at http://paulbunyan.pickitchallenge.com/   Register anytime but remember to come back to make your picks after the tournament teams are determined on Sunday, March 17.

The first official game of the Pick It March Mania Challenge is Thursday, March 21 so be sure to make your picks before the first game!

The Pick-it March Mania Challenge is a fun and free way to interact with others in northern Minnesota and enjoy a little friendly competition.  Must be 18 years of age or older. Limit one entry per person. Prizes not redeemable for cash. Void where prohibited. Some restrictions may apply. See Pick It March Mania Challenge website for complete contest rules.

Posted: 2 months ago.

Grand Rapids High School Boys Hockey Advance to State Semifinals; How to watch or listen

Congratulations to the Grand Rapids High School Boys Hockey team on advancing to the State Tournament Semifinals!

The Thunderhawks play Edina Friday at 8:30 p.m.

The game will be televised on WDIO, PBTV channel 13/HD 513 for customers in Itasca, Koochiching, and St. Louis County and on KSTC, PBTV channel 45/HD 545 for customers in Beltrami, Hubbard, and Cass County.  It can also be seen online at http://www.prep45.com/

All of the Thunderhawks games can be heard on Rapids Radio J105 FM, PBTV channel 1079 and streaming live in kozyradio.com

Good luck Thunderhawks from all of us at Paul Bunyan Communications!

Posted: 2 months ago.

Gaming Tournaments Set for GigaZone Gaming Championship April 20. Doors open at 10 a.m.; Create a GigaZone Profile to enter tournaments

The GigaZone Gaming Championship and TechXpo, a Paul Bunyan Communications event, is Saturday, April 20, 2024 at the Sanford Center in Bemidji. The event is now one of the largest rural gaming and technology expositions in the United States!  Admission and all the gaming is FREE!

The GigaZone Gaming Championship is bigger than ever before and will feature open gaming on various console and arcade games plus numerous tournaments for cash & prizes!  For specific tournament rules, prizes, information, and to create a GigaZone Gaming profile required to enter a tournament visit GigaZone Gaming

Rocket League- Main Stage

The main stage tournament on the esports stadium style stage in the GigaZone Championship Arena.

3-person team competition with 32 team maximum.

Fortnite

This is a No-Build Solos leaderboard tournament. The player with the highest number of kills wins at the end of the day.

Madden24

Individual competition with 32 person maximum.

Overwatch 2

3-person team competition with 32 team maximum

Valorant

3 person team competition with 12 team maximum

Super Smash Bros Ultimate

Individual competition with 64 person maximum

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Individual competition with 64 person maximum

Super Smash Bros Ultimate- Junior Tournament (Kids under 13)

Individual competition with 32 person maximum

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe- Junior Tournament (Kids under 13)

Individual competition with 64 person maximum

Magic The Gathering Booster Drafts

Jumpstart 2022 Sealed Deck at 11 a.m.    March of the Machine Draft at 3 p.m.   32 person maximum

Retro Arcade Tournaments

Ms Pac-Man, Galaga, and Donkey Kong.

Bemidji Drift-  Paul Bunyan Communications Van Racing Tournament

1 morning and 1 afternoon session 13+ and Juniors under 13.

CosPlay Contest

One contest for ages 13+, one contest for juniors under 13.

All the tournaments and contests are FREE to enter but all those who want to enter a tournament will need to create a GigaZone Gaming Player Profile prior to registration at the event. This can be done online at GigaZone Gaming  This will expedite the onsite registration process to allow the tournaments to start earlier.

Registration for all tournaments will start at the Sanford Center April 20 at 10 a.m. and go until full.  Special Guest Danielle Feinberg from Pixar Animation Studios will be on the main stage at 2 p.m.

The GigaZone TechXpo will feature over 25 exhibitors that will expose a growing regional audience to technology innovation and potential career opportunities in technology right here in northern Minnesota.

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

Posted: 2 months ago.

We’re Expanding to Buhl, Keewatin, Taconite, an area of Greenway Township, the Forbes Area SW of Eveleth, and an area NW of the city of Aitkin

Paul Bunyan Communications will be expanding its all-fiber optic network the GigaZone®, to over 1,500 locations this year in Itasca, St. Louis, and Aitkin County this year.

Itasca County expansion will include over 180 locations in the city of Taconite, over 500 locations in the city of Keewatin, and 45 locations in an area of the Greenway Township east of the city of Calumet.

St. Louis County expansion will include over 530 locations in the city of Buhl and over 240 locations in the Forbes area southwest of Eveleth.

Aitkin County expansion will include over 70 locations in areas of Aitkin Township and an unorganized township northwest of the city of Aitkin

Anyone interested in getting connected to the all-fiber optic broadband network should sign up for service now.  That can be done online, over the phone, or in person at our Grand Rapids Customer Service & Technology Center or Cooperative Headquarters in Bemidji.

To check to see if a specific location is within an expansion area and learn more about the expansion construction process, visit www.gigazone.com.   Paul Bunyan Communications will be also mailing more information to those within the 2024 plans as construction is about to begin in their area. Construction will take place over the summer with services expected to be available by winter.

The cooperative’s services will become available once the network is operational including GigaZone® Internet with its unprecedented broadband speeds of up to 10 Gig and low cost unlimited local and long distance GigaZone® voice telephone 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.

Posted: 2 months ago.

District 5 Board of Director Election Result

As a cooperative, Paul Bunyan Communications is governed by a seven-person member-elected Board of Directors. In 2024, there was one Board of Directors position up for election representing District 5.

The current director for District 5 is Board President Randy Frisk and he was the only applicant. As a result, his uncontested director re-election to the board for District 5 will be ratified by the members at the annual meeting scheduled for May 22, 2024 at the Sanford Center in Bemidji.

Posted: 2 months ago.