BEMIDJI, MN – Paul Bunyan Communications announced that it is launching the GigaZone, its new advanced regional gigabit fiber network that will be one of the largest gigabit networks in the country.

Meeting the Demands of the Next Generation of Broadband Innovations
“This is a big day for our cooperative, members, and the region we serve. We’ve always been committed to giving our region the best possible communication services. When we were formed 63 years ago that meant quality telephone services to areas no other provider would serve. Today it means delivering advanced data services and Internet capabilities to our members unsurpassed by any region or any other provider in the country – regardless of size or location. The GigaZone will not only provide the capacity to handle current communication technologies quickly and efficiently, it will also meet the increasing demands of the next generation of broadband innovations,” said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO and general manager.

“The launch of one of the largest rural gigabit networks in the United States will be a game changer for northern Minnesota. Expanding broadband is a great equalizing force for boosting rural economies. Today you don’t need to live off a major highway or in a bustling city to find a good job, start a new business, or get a high quality education but today you do need a high-speed Internet connection,” Senator Amy Klobuchar, who has championed the effort of rural broadband access at the national level since being elected.

Border-to-border Access to Reliable High-speed Internet

“Border-to-border access to reliable cell phone and high-speed Internet coverage is essential to Minnesota’s continued economic growth,” said Governor Mark Dayton, who invested $20 million in a new Broadband Infrastructure Grant Fund this year to expand access to high-speed Internet in underserved areas of the state. “I thank Paul Bunyan Communications for their leadership on this important project, which will improve access to high-speed internet for thousands of homes and businesses across five Minnesota counties.”

“Access to broadband has become one of the driving forces in economic development. When I visit with companies, their initial questions focus on workforce and broadband. Coupled with our talent and quality of life, the GigaZone will put Bemidji above virtually any region in the United States as an ideal location for a high-tech company or any other business,” added Dave Hengel, Greater Bemidji executive director

There will be exciting new GigaZone service options including unprecedented broadband Internet speeds up to 1000 Mbps — a gigabit. Members who subscribe to GigaZone broadband can also add PBTV Fusion and/or low cost GigaZone voice service with unlimited long distance. All current service options will also remain available to cooperative members within the GigaZone.

GigaZone advanced fiber network construction has started in Bemidji. Upcoming enhancements to Paul Bunyan Communications’ expansive regional fiber network will allow for the GigaZone to ultimately include their entire 5,000 square mile service area.

Paul Bunyan Communications has the region’s largest and fastest all fiber optic network over 5,000 square miles throughout most of Beltrami County and portions of Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, and St. Louis County. The Cooperative provides broadband high-speed Internet services, digital and high definition television services, Smart Home services, digital voice services, and more.