News & Events
Discovery Life has been moved to PBTV Extra
Discovery Life, formerly Discovery Fit and Health, has been moved to PBTV Extra (from PBTV Sports). Discovery Life can be found on PBTV channel 62 and is now a network with true stories of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. These stories are unusual, touching, humorous and life-changing.
PBTV Extra is a package of over 40 additional cable networks covering a wide variety of genres including sports, news, music, and entertainment that can be added to PBTV main service for only $9.99 per month.
Winners of the Paul Bunyan Communications Pick It Bowl Challenge
Paul Bunyan Communications is excited to announce the winners of the Pick-it Bowl Challenge, a free online contest for participants to pick the winners for the 2015-2016 College Bowl 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 - $500 credit Keith Bartholomaus, Laporte
- 2nd Place - $250 credit Eric Christensen, Grand Rapids
- 3rd Place - $100 credit Angie Broberg, Grand Rapids
- 4th Place - $50 credit Paul Schultz, Bemidji
- 5th Place - $25 credit Paul Nelson, Bemidji
- 6th - 10th place - $10 credit (in order of finish)
Rebecca Krienke, Mizpah
Mark Johnson, Blackduck
David Anderson, Park Rapids
Cheyanne May, Redby
The next Paul Bunyan Communications Pick It Challenge is coming up in March for the College Division 1 Men's Basketball Tournament.
Nat Geo Wild Added to PBTV Extra; Nat Geo Wild HD Added to PBTV HD; Velocity HD Moved to Channel 693
Paul Bunyan Communications has added Nat Geo Wild to PBTV Extra and also Nat Geo Hild HD to PBTV HD service.
Nat Geo WILD is the only network on television 100% dedicated to animals and the people who love them. Nat Geo WILD features passionate and popular experts Cesar Millan and Dr. Pol along with other family friendly programming.
Nat Geo Wild is on channel 189 and is available to all PBTV subscribers who also subscribe to PBTV Extra.
Nat Geo Wild is on channel 689 and is available to all PBTV HD subscribers who also subscribe to PBTV Extra. There is a one month minimum subscription required.
As result of adding Nat Geo Wild HD to the PBTV HD lineup, Velocity HD has been moved from to channel 693 (from channel 689).
Antenna-TV Added for PBTV Customers in Itasca and Koochiching County
Antenna TV has been added to the Paul Bunyan Television (PBTV) service offering for all subscribers in Itasca and Koochiching County.
Antenna TV can be found on PBTV channel 44 and is a KQDS-Fox network out of Duluth. The network features classic television programs and favorite movies.
PBTV subscribers in Beltrami, Hubbard, and Cass County receive Antenna TV out of Minneapolis also on channel 44.
2016 Scholarship Opportunities from Paul Bunyan Communications
Paul Bunyan Communications is committed to the communities we serve and provides over $40,000 annually in scholarships to local students within our service territory. We also offer local students the chance to apply for one statewide industry scholarship and one national industry scholarship. If you are a current high school senior or a student at one of the local post-secondary institutions, you can apply to win a Paul Bunyan Communications Scholarship!
High School Scholarships
Each year, our cooperative provides at least 2, $500 scholarships to 12 area high schools within or near our service territory. The application process, winners, and distribution of funds are handled by each high school independent of Paul Bunyan Communications.
Paul Bunyan Communications Scholarships are available at Bemidji High School, Bigfork High School, Blackduck High School, Cass Lake High School, Deer River High School, Grand Rapids High School, Kelliher High School, Laporte High School, Northome High School, Park Rapids High School, Red Lake High School, and Walker-Hackensack-Akeley High School.
To apply for the Paul Bunyan Communications Scholarship at one of these high schools, please speak to the high school counselor or career service office.
In addition to High School Scholarships, Paul Bunyan Communications provides scholarship opportunities to the following post secondary institutions: Bemidji State University, Northwest Technical College, Itasca Community College, Red Lake Nation College, and Oak Hills Christian College.
There are several scholarships totaling over $20,000 annually available to students attending Bemidji State University that are current members of Paul Bunyan Communications or a parent/legal guardian is a member. Applications are available in the BSU Admissions Office. Deadline for applications is February 1, 2016.
One $500 scholarship is awarded annually to a NTC student that is a current member or who has a parent/legal guardian that is a member of Paul Bunyan Communications. Applications are available in the NTC Admissions office or online at www.NTCmn.edu under scholarships. Deadline for applications is March 31, 2016.
One $500 scholarship is awarded annually at Itasca Community College, Red Lake Nation College, Leech Lake Tribal College and Oak Hills Christian College to a student that is a current member or who has a parent/legal guardian that is a member of Paul Bunyan Communications.
To apply for the Paul Bunyan Communications Scholarship at one of these post-secondary institutions, speak to the Admissions or Career Service office at the school you attend.
Minnesota Telecom Alliance Foundation Scholarship
Paul Bunyan Communications participates in the MTA's scholarship program which awards five $2,000 scholarships to Minnesota high school seniors each year.
The application for 2015 can be downloaded from the MTA scholarship page or from the link below and must be turned in to Paul Bunyan Communications no later than March 1, 2016.
A telecom alliance panel reviews each application and selects the finalists based on applicants’ grades, academic achievements and extra-curricular activities. Preference to receive the scholarships is given to students who have an interest in telecommunications technology and rural communities.
The Foundation is part of the Minnesota Telecom Alliance, a trade organization representing 86 telephone companies and cooperatives in the state.
Foundation for Rural Service Scholarship
Paul Bunyan Communications participates in the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) scholarship program which awards 30 $2,500 scholarships to high school seniors throughout the country each year.
Applications can also be downloaded from the FRS scholarship program page or the link below.
Completed applications should be sent directly to FRS, postmarked no later than March 1, 2016. Applications postmarked to FRS after this date will NOT be accepted.
Please note the applicant or their parent/legal guardian must be a member of Paul Bunyan Communications (PBC) Cooperative to apply through PBC and that a signature of a PBC employee is required to be considered eligible.
Established in 1994, FRS, in cooperation with the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA), seeks to sustain and enhance the quality of life throughout Rural America by advancing an understanding of rural telecommunications issues. In keeping with its mission, furthering the education of rural youth is one of the foundation’s primary focuses. Our cooperative, Paul Bunyan Communications, is a member of NTCA and is proud to support FRS in this worthy endeavor.
Long Wait Over: 400+ More Locations in Rural Park Rapids Gain Access to Broadband
Cooperative Expansion Project that started in 2012 completed
The long wait for access to high speed Internet and cable television services has finally come to an end for hundreds of more locations in rural Park Rapids. Paul Bunyan Communications announced today that expansion of its all-fiber optic network is complete in the last region of rural Park Rapids constructed in 2015 bringing access to broadband and cable TV services to over 400 more locations. The area impacted is east of Park Rapids that includes the following lakes: Sunday, Little Stony, 4th Crow Wing, Island, 3rd Crow Wing, 2nd Crow Wing, Palmer, and most of 1st Crow Wing.
The cooperative started expansion of its all fiber optic network into rural Park Rapids in 2012 and Paul Bunyan Communications now offers all of its services to over 3,500 locations in the region which includes Gigabit Broadband Internet, Paul Bunyan Television, and voice services. While this marks the completion of the original rural Park Rapids fiber project, the cooperative continues to look for additional future opportunities to deliver its advanced gigabit Internet and other services in and around the Park Rapids area.
"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 are proud to bring Broadband access to thousands of locations in the Park Rapids area the past three years."
"Ironically these new areas of our cooperative have gone from having no Broadband access to having access to the fastest Internet speeds available today as part of the GigaZone. There are very few parts of the country like the Park Rapids area where Gigabit Internet services are available. It's pretty amazing that areas like Little Stony and Sunday Lake have Gigabit Internet access before New York City or Washington D.C.," added Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.
"While this is the end of our major expansion project in the rural Park Rapids area, our efforts to bring Broadband to the region that started back in 1999 will continue. Unfortunately there are still many areas adjacent to where our cooperative serves that do not have quality Broadband access from their current providers. It's too bad, all of our service areas have had access to Broadband since 2004, yet almost 12 years later there are still a lot of rural areas and even some urban areas being neglected by the large regional service providers without access to even the most basic of high speed Internet services. We will continue to do what we can to bring Broadband access to more areas in 2016 and beyond," added Bissonette.
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 local and long distance GigaZone voice service. All non-GigaZone service options remain available to cooperative members as well.
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 awarded State of Minnesota Border to Border Broadband Grant for portions of Central Itasca County
Cooperative will bring Broadband network to over 1,250 locations
Paul Bunyan Communications has been awarded a Border to Border Broadband Grant from the state of Minnesota to expand its fiber optic services to portions of central Itasca County in partnership with the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) and Itasca County.
As a result, the cooperative will begin expansion construction next spring that will pass over 1,250 locations in portions of Balsam Township, Lawrence Township, Nashwauk Township, and the city of Taconite. Final expansion plans that will determine the locations to be passed are expected by early spring.
"This is very exciting news for so many people who are currently without access to broadband in central Itasca County and it is a truly collaborative effort that makes it possible. Our cooperative has a long history of expanding our network to underserved areas but it has become increasingly challenging to go it alone without grant support. The support offered by both IRRRB and Itasca County has been phenomenal.Additionally, the Itasca Economic Development Corporation wasinstrumental in building community support and providing guidancethrough the grant application process. The irony is these areas will not only get Broadband access, they'll go from no real access to becoming a part of one of the largest rural Gigabit networks in the country. Many will go from satellite and dial up to speeds of up to a Gigabit per second," said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.
Paul Bunyan Communications expects to finalize the expansion plans by early spring and will contact all locations along the expansion route shortly thereafter. Construction will start in the early summer and will be completed by June 30, 2017. While the general area of the expansion is determined, the specific locations that it will pass will depend upon the final network design. Those in the region interested on keeping up to date on the project can look for updates on the Paul Bunyan website or join the Paul Bunyan Communications Central Itasca Fiber Project Group on Facebook.
"I am really excited about this project and the positive impact it will have on people's lives. Students will have access to educational resources, employees will be able to work from home, seniors will be able to stay in their homes longer with telemedicine, and a rural medical clinic will finally get the connectivity it has needed for years." added Steve Howard, Paul Bunyan Communications Information Technology and Development Manager.
"In addition to the local partnerships we've formed that makes this a reality, no project would have gotten off the ground if it wasn't for the hard work of our elected officials who championed the Border to Border Broadband Grant Program. I want to thank all of them and also the Office of Broadband Development that oversees the program. This is going to make a world of difference in so many ways to a lot of people in central Itasca County!" said Johnson.
All of the cooperative's services will become available once the network is operational including GigaZone service options like unprecedented Broadband Internet speeds of up to 1000 Mbps – a Gigabit, PBTV Fusion and low cost unlimited local and long distance GigaZone voice 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.