News & Events
Annual Meeting and Cooperative Celebration Wednesday, May 24
Paul Bunyan Communications will hold the annual Cooperative Celebration on Wednesday, May 24 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the Cooperative's headquarters in Bemidji. It is free and open to all.
- A walleye dinner prepared by the Bemidji Fire Department Fish Fry Crew & Lueken's Village Foods.
- Chance to enter door prize drawings
- Live Entertainment provided by Kent Dudley as Elvis. Kent performed at our very first Cooperative Celebration in 2002!
Great kids activities including:
- Bring your camera to get pictures with all 4 of Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, (Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, Michaelangelo) and Fox Sports Robot Cleatus
- United States Tennis Association's QuickStart Tennis
- Activities and animals from the Headwaters Science Center
- Face painting
The entire event is free of charge and is open to the public.
The 61st Annual Business will precede the celebration beginning at 3:30 p.m. The Annual Meeting is only open to current members of the cooperative.
PBC Offices Closing Early Wednesday, May 24 for Coop Celebration and Monday, May 30 for Memorial Holiday
There are office closures in May.
On May 24, both of our offices will close early for the annual Cooperative Celebration and our offices will be closed On Monday, May 29 for the Memorial Day Holiday.
Wednesday, May 25- Coop Celebration in Bemidji
1:00 Grand Rapids Office Closes
2:30 Bemidji Office Closes
Monday, May 29
Both offices are closed to observe the Memorial Day Holiday
As always, 24 hour emergency repair will be available to customers.
Paul Bunyan Communications Announces Winner in National College Scholarship Program for Rural Youth
We are excited to announce that Ashley Benes of Grand Rapids is the recipient of a $2,500 college scholarship from Paul Bunyan Communications and the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) the philanthropic arm of NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association.
Ashley is the daughter of Anthony and Joyce Benes and a senior at Grand Rapids High School. She plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and major in either Biology or Kinesiology then go to medical school to be an orthopedic doctor.
The FRS scholarship program awarded over $100,000 in scholarships to rural youth across the United States. Out of over 1,500 applications received this year, 47 scholarships were awarded. The goal of the scholarship program is to help further higher education opportunities among rural high school students.
In addition to providing the opportunity for local students to apply for a statewide scholarship through the Minnesota Telecom Alliance (MTA) and the national FRS scholarship program, Paul Bunyan Communications provides over $30,000 in scholarships annually to local students from within the cooperative's service territory. The scholarships are awarded through area high schools including Grand Rapids and Deer River along with post-secondary institutions like Itasca Community College, Leech Lake Tribal College, and Bemidji State University.
"Congratulations Ashley! We are honored to offer this additional scholarship opportunity to students in northern Minnesota," said Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor. "Our cooperative has had a commitment to education in the region for a long time and the FRS scholarship program enables rural telecommunications providers like us to show additional support of the youth living the communities they serve. It is a source of tremendous pride for us that Ashley was selected as a recipient this year!"
WDSE's PBS North and PBS Explore Added to Paul Bunyan Television - Now Available to All PBTV Subscribers in Itasca and Koochiching Counties
WDSE's PBS North out of Duluth, along with PBS Explore have been added to Paul Bunyan Television service for customers in Itasca and Koochiching Counties.
PBS North is available to all PBTV digital subscribers and can be found on channel 8 and in HD on channel 508. WDSE-WRPT's primary channel features PBS Kids, locally produced & nationally produced PBS programs such as Masterpiece, Nature, Nova and many others. Among locally produced programs are: Doctors on Call, Lawyers on the Line, Speak Your Mind and Great Gardening. Native Report, celebrating Native American culture and heritage proudly airs on many public televisions nationwide. The Playlist is a front row seat to Northern Minnesota's amazing arts scene.
PBS Explore is available to all PBTV digital subscribers and can be found on PBTV channel 171. During the daytime, PBS Explore viewers receive WORLD programming which features public television's signature nonfiction documentaries, science and news programming complemented by original content from emerging producers. PBD Kids airs in the early evening from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. From 8:30 to signoff PBS Explore airs Nightly Business, NewsHour, and then repeat airings of programming from PBS North.
"WDSE celebrates the people who proudly call the vibrant communities of northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin their home, delivering local, regional along with national PBS programming. We're excited to be a part of Paul Bunyan Television service where our high quality programming becomes even more accessible to thousands of additional viewers right here in the northland." said Allen Harmon, WDSE General Manager
"We're thrilled to give our subscribers in Itasca and Koochiching Counties these additional channels as part of their Paul Bunyan Television service. We strive to provide as much local programming as possible for the region and adding PBS North and PBS Explore will provide local content with a northeastern Minnesota perspective along with all the wonderful regional and national content PBS has to offer." said Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.
Paul Bunyan Communications Will Not Sell Customer Web Browsing History
Recently new federal legislation was passed that allows Internet Service Providers to sell their customers' web browsing history. Paul Bunyan Communications wants to reassure its members that no matter what the law allows they do not collect and sell member's web browsing history.
"Our members' privacy is of the utmost importance to our member-owned and governed cooperative. We have never sold member web browsing history and have no plans to do so in the future regardless of what the rules and regulations may allow," said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.
"As you might imagine we are getting calls from concerned customers and members of our cooperative as the news of this new legislation spreads. We feel it is extremely important to reassure our customers that our cooperative will not sell their web browsing history. It's your cooperative and your data, period. Any provider who sells their customers' web browsing history without their consent is putting profits ahead of the trust of its customers and we believe that flies in the face of common decency, customer privacy, and certainly our cooperative values and principles," added Johnson.
District 9 Caucus held Tuesday, April 4; District 7 Caucus held Thursday, April 6
The purpose of the caucus meetings is to nominate a director candidate or candidates to represent the district on the Paul Bunyan Rural Telephone Cooperative Board of Directors.
The caucus for District 9 was held on Tuesday, April 4 at the Turtle Lake Town Hall. The current director from District 9 is Tim Hins. He was nominated and seconded. No other nominations were made.
The caucus for District 7 was held on Thursday, April 6 at the Northern Town Hall. The current director from District 7 is Bruce Campbell. He was nominated and seconded. No other nominations were made.
Based on the caucus results, Tim Hins will serve another term as District 9 Board of Director and Bruce Campbell will serve another term as the District 7 Board of Director. Directors serve a five-year term, with next term expiring in the year 2022 for both districts.
In addition to being an opportunity to nominate persons to represent the district, the caucus meetings were an opportunity for members to ask questions concerning the Cooperative. The meeting was attended by several managers/supervisors, including CEO/General Manager Gary Johnson.
The GigaZone Comes to Hines and areas of Blackduck
One of the largest rural all-fiber optic Gigabit networks in the United States continues to grow; Now available to more than 33,400 locations in northern Minnesota
The GigaZone has come to Hines and areas of Blackduck. As a result of continued upgrades to the Cooperative's all-fiber optic communications network over 700 more locations now have access to GigaZone services including Internet speeds up to a Gigabit per second.
"We've made great progress on upgrading our network to incorporate even more members into the GigaZone over the past several months. I'm very proud of all the hard work our cooperative has put in so far as we put our membership and region at the forefront of the very latest in communication networks. We will continue to do as much as we can to bring the GigaZone to all our members and the communities we serve as fast as we can." said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.
The GigaZone is currently available to over 33,400 locations, making it one of the largest rural all-fiber optic networks in the United States! Check out our online map showing the current areas of the GigaZone as well as those that will be constructed/upgraded in the future.
Paul Bunyan Communications recently mailed out information to the new locations that are now in the GigaZone and the cooperative has an online map showing the active areas of the GigaZone as well as those areas that will be constructed/upgraded in the future.
"If you are wondering when the GigaZone will reach you, the online map of the active areas and plans for the next two years is a great resource." 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 long distance 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 Cass, Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, and St. Louis Counties. The Cooperative provides Broadband High Speed Internet Service up to a Gigabit per second, digital and high definition television services, Smart Home services, digital voice services, and more. Service availability depends upon location, some restrictions may apply.
Lucia Laituri of Bemidji High School selected as the Paul Bunyan Communications Youth Tour Essay Contest Winner
Paul Bunyan Communications has selected Lucia Laituri as the winner of the cooperative's 2017 Youth Tour Essay Contest. Lucia is currently a junior at Bemidji High School, is the daughter of Ron and Annie Laituri. She will attend the 2017 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 Mount Vernon, the Smithsonian Museums, and a beautiful night tour of our Washington D.C.
"The FRS Youth Tour is a unique opportunity for a local student from our area to visit Washington D.C. to gain a better perspective on how regulatory decisions impact our cooperative and rural areas. Lucia will also get the chance to see a lot of historic sites in our nation's capital!" said Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.
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 21st consecutive year that Paul Bunyan Communications has participated in sending a local high school student to the Youth Tour.