News & Events
Paul Bunyan Communications Announces GigaZone Project: One of the Largest Gigabit Networks in the United States
Paul Bunyan Communications announced today that it is launching the GigaZone, their new advanced regional Gigabit fiber network that will be one of the largest Gigabit networks in the country.
"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/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," said 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 cell phone and high-speed internet coverage is essential to Minnesota's continued economic growth," said Governor Mark Dayton, who working the legislature, 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 mailed out over $3.6 million in capital credits to members. The payouts include the remaining unretired balance from 2000, 50% of capital credits earned in 2001 and 20% capital credits earned in 2013. All subscribers who were a member in either of those years and accrued over $10 total in capital credits should have or will receive a check in the next few days. The use of capital credit allocations are the cooperative's way of individually securing each member's share of the cooperative's net margins.
As a cooperative, Paul Bunyan Communications is owned by the members it serves. Services that apply towards capital credit returns include local phone service, Paul Bunyan Long Distance, Internet service from Paul Bunyan Net, Paul Bunyan Television, and Minnesota Gold Yellow Page Advertising.
"It's the cooperative advantage and a win-win for our members. They get high quality communication services at affordable rates with a high level of customer service and they share in our success," said Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor, "the return a member receives is based on their patronage and our profit margin from that particular year."
"It's rare that a customer gets money back from a service provider," added Dave Schultz, Chief Finance Officer, "the cooperative structure allows us to give back to those who make us successful. It is truly providing service at cost."
If you were a member of the cooperative in 2000, 2001 and/or 2013 and accrued more than $10 in total capital credit allocations, but do not receive a check by September 26, please contact Paul Bunyan Communications at (218) 444-1234 or (218) 999-1234.
The Longhorn Network and ESPN Goal Line have been added to Paul Bunyan Television. Both networks are now a part of PBTV Sports.
The Longhorn Network is a partnership between ESPN and the University of Texas, providing coverage of the Longhorns like never before. Featuring over 175 exclusive live events each year from all 20 UT sports, plus 1,000+ hours of original studio content covering everything from the gridiron to the golf course, the network is a must for any Longhorn fan.
The Longhorn Network can be found on PBTV channel 85.
ESPN Goal Line features unlimited live cut-ins and highlights from numerous top college football games during each Saturday of the college football season. Catch in-game cut-ins to scoring drives across the country, as well as up-to-the-minute highlights, stats and analysis.
ESPN Goal Line can be found on PBTV channel 86.
The channels will appear in the on-screen program guide within the next few days but customers can reset their set top boxes and they should appear.
PBTV Sports can be added to Paul Bunyan Television service for only $6.99 per month. PBTV Sports currently includes over 15 networks featuring a wide array of sports programming.
To add to your service, call 444-1234, 999-1234, or toll free 1-888-586-3100.
*One month minimum subscription required. Some restrictions may apply. Call for details.
WatchESPN, NFL RedZone, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Spike, and VH1 have been added to PBTV Everywhere! All PBTV Main subscribers will have access to the WatchESPN, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Spike, and VH1. Customers who subscribe to both PBTV Extra and PBTV Sports will have access to NFL RedZone.
Accessing your favorite live sports and shows from ESPN is now easier than ever with WatchESPN. WatchESPN brings you 24/7 live programming from your favorite ESPN networks.
PBTV customers can watch programs on their computer, smart phone, or tablet with PBTV Everywhere. It's free and all you need is Internet access.
Future networks expected to be added to PBTV Everywhere this year include Big Ten Network, WatchDisney, WatchABCFamily, MTV, FX, FXX, FXM, Nat Geo, and Showtime.
PBTV customers have access to view PBTV Everywhere content from the networks they receive as part of their regular PBTV service.
*Must subscribe to PBTV service to have access to PBTV Everywhere. Additional subscriptions may be required to view all content listed. Service availability depends upon location, some restrictions may apply.
PBTV Fusion customers with Whole-Home DVR service can now schedule, cancel, or delete recordings remotely by computer, smart phone, or tablet.
It's free and gives you even more control over your television viewing.
Paul Bunyan Communications will be expanding its all-fiber optic communications network into the Trout Lake Township east of Grand Rapids and LaPrairie this year.
"Access to broadband Internet services enhances life in so many different ways. It opens up e-commerce opportunities, educational, cultural, and recreational resources. It is especially important in rural areas where it can help overcome distance and financial barriers," said Gary Johnson, CEO/GM of Paul Bunyan Communications, "We've seen the difference it can make first hand throughout our service territory and we hope to bring it to as many in Trout Lake Township as we can."
The all fiber optic network will provide all of the current Paul Bunyan Communications services including Broadband high-speed Internet up to 150 Mbps, PBTV Fusion with HD and whole-home DVR, as well as the next evolution in fiber-enabled Internet technologies expected to be offered in the future.
Service applications are now being accepted. A service application is required to be considered for expansion. Where we expand in the Trout Lake Township will be based on the costs involved and level of demand for services in each individual neighborhood/area.
More information will be mailed out a few weeks prior to construction which is expected to begin in June and be completed by November. Once the network is physically installed up to a location services generally become available within 1-2 months.
This project is made possible through the Broadband Loan Program from the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a part of the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA).