SIOUX FALLS, SD — Midcontinent Communications has unveiled a plan to bring gigabit Internet access to homes and businesses in hundreds of communities in South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota. The Midcontinent Gigabit Frontier Initiative will make gigabit speeds available to approximately 600,000 homes and 55,000 businesses along a high-capacity fiber network that covers more than 7,600 miles. Work on the Midcontinent Gigabit Frontier Initiative begins in 2015. The first cities with access to gigabit service are expected to be the metro areas of Fargo, Bismarck and Grand Forks in North Dakota, along with Sioux Falls and Rapid City in South Dakota.

Midcontinent Gigabit Frontier Initiative
“As the gold standard, gigabit Internet delivers a speed that the vast majority of Americans can only dream of accessing,” said Pat McAdaragh, president and CEO of Midcontinent Communications. “Midcontinent will make world-class, gigabit Internet access available to most of our customers by the end of 2017, and we’re not limiting it to a few neighborhoods in the largest cities.”

In June 2014, Midcontinent doubled speeds for customers, increasing download speeds to 200 Mbps. When the Gigabit Frontier Initiative is finished, the top speeds available from Midcontinent will be five times faster than its current best and 35 times faster than the average high-speed Internet access speed in America.

Bandwidth Consumption Doubles Every 15 Months
“In addition to increasing our speed, we are also improving our network capacity. This year alone, our customers’ bandwidth usage has increased by 77 percent. Consumption doubles every 15 months, and I don’t see it slowing down,” said Jon Pederson, vice president of technology at Midcontinent Communications. “As our customers invent and discover new ways to use the Internet, Midcontinent will have the enhanced bandwidth to support their success and deliver a superior user experience.”

The positive community impact is a driving force behind the Midcontinent Gigabit Frontier Initiative. “Gigabit Internet access will lead to improved economic development, education and quality of life in the communities we serve,” said McAdaragh.