News & Events
Gigabit Internet service has come to northern Minnesota. Paul Bunyan Communications announced it has activated the first area of the GigaZone.
"The GigaZone provides Internet capabilities unsurpassed by any other rural provider or region in the country. The GigaZone not only provides the capacity to handle current communication technologies quickly and efficiently, it also meets the increasing demands of the next generation of broadband innovations," said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.
"Our cooperative already has the region's largest all fiber optic network, upgrading it for the GigaZone continues our commitment to keeping our region at the forefront of broadband access." said Steve Howard, Paul Bunyan Communications IT & Development Manager.
The area of Bemidji that saw GigaZone construction in 2014 has been activated and can now receive GigaZone services. The first GigaZone customer was Mike Beard in Bemidji who had services installed January 22.
"Like a lot of people, I find our house using the Internet on a lot more devices than ever before so when I heard about the GigaZone I knew I had to get it. I want to be able to watch movies and TV shows online without everyone else in the house slowing me down!" laughed Beard. "I was not a member of Paul Bunyan until now because I didn't want a landline but in the GigaZone you don't have to have one. I was able to choose what I wanted so I added GigaZone Integrated Wi-Fi which will provide the fastest speeds Wi-Fi can offer and I won't have to worry about buying and setting up my own Wi-Fi router or replacing it if it breaks. I also added PBTV Lite, even though I plan to use Amazon Prime I want to be able to watch new episodes of my favorite shows." (PBTV Lite is one of many TV service options available)
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.
GigaZone services are expected to be made available in Trout Lake Township east of Grand Rapids in February and in March in the cooperative's Park Rapids exchange which also includes areas in Lake George, Two Inlets, Dorset, and Emmaville. Additional upgrades are planned in and around Bemidji and Grand Rapids in 2015. Ultimately the GigaZone will encompass the cooperative's entire 5,000 square mile service area.
"We know that many of our members will want access to GigaZone services and we will make it available as quickly as we can. It will take us a few construction seasons to get it everywhere we serve but once done it will be one of the largest Gigabit networks in the United States!" added Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.
GigaZone service options including 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 current service options also remain available to cooperative members within the GigaZone.
FXX, KVLY-NBC Added in High Definition
Paul Bunyan Communications has added two more networks in high definition to PBTV HD service.
FXX HD is on channel 655 and is available to all PBTV HD subscribers with main PBTV service. FXX is a high-quality, engaging, versatile and forward-thinking network Fox. FXX is a cable powerhouse for original comedy series like The League and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, including the debut of a new Tracy Morgan series in January 2015. This August, FXX will be the exclusive cable home to over 530 episodes of The Simpsons.
KVLY HD is on channel 511 and is available to all PBTV HD subscribers in Hubbard, Cass, and Beltrami County. KVLY is the NBC broadcast affiliate out of Fargo, ND.
PBTV HD is delivered in the widescreen 16:9 format that provides a picture with a resolution over five times that of standard television and the 4:3 format. The service can be added to PBTV service for $9.95 per month. Consumers must have standard PBTV service to subscribe to PBTV HD service. $9.95 monthly charge for PBTV HD is an equipment fee, not a programming fee. PBTV HD subscribers will receive the HD channels of the digital channels they subscribe to. Additional subscription(s) may be required to receive all HD channels available. There is a one month minimum subscription required. Service availability depends upon location and some restrictions may apply.
CBS Sports Network and Fusion added to PBTV Extra; NBC Sports Network Moved to Main Lineup
CBS Sports Network and Fusion have been added to PBTV Extra. NBC Sports Network has been moved from PBTV Extra to the PBTV main lineup.
CBSSN is the 24-hour home of CBS Sports televising nearly 600 live events and over 3,000 hours of live programming every year including live college football, college basketball, and more from the MW, AAC, Big East, C-USA, A-10, Army, Navy, and the Patriot League. CBSSN is also the home to Professional Bull Riding and Arena Football League.
CBSSN has become the extension of CBS Sports providing support coverage of every major event that CBS produces including Super Bowl 50, SEC football, NCAA Tournament, The Masters, and PGA Championship.
Fusion is also a part of PBTV Extra and can be found on channel 129 or in HD on channel 629. A new network from ABC/Disney, Fusion is a news, pop-culture, and satire network for a young and diverse America. For more information on the network visit fusion.net.
The channels will appear in the on-screen program guide within the next day or two but customers can reset their set top boxes and they should appear.
PBTV Extra can be added to your Paul Bunyan Television service for only $9.99 per month and includes over 40 additional cable networks featuring a wide variety of programming.
PBTV HD service can be added to your PBTV service for only $9.95 per month.
To add to your service, call 444-1234, 999-1234, or toll free 1-888-586-3100.
Consumers must have standard PBTV service to subscribe to PBTV HD and/or PBTV Extra. $9.95 monthly charge for PBTV HD is an equipment fee, not a programming fee. PBTV HD subscribers will receive the HD channels of the digital channels they subscribe to. Additional subscription(s) may be required to receive all HD channels available. There is a one month minimum subscription required for both PBTV Extra and PBTV HD. Service availability depends upon location and some restrictions may apply.
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, 2015.
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, 2015.
Minnesota Telecom Alliance Foundation Scholarship
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 February 27, 2015.
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
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 2, 2015. 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.
High School Juniors: Enter the Paul Bunyan Communications Youth Tour Essay Contest for a Chance to Win a Trip to Washington D.C. Deadline is Friday, March 20
Area High School Juniors are encouraged to enter the Paul Bunyan Communications Essay Contest for a chance to attend the 2015 Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. May 30-June 3, with all expenses paid by Paul Bunyan Communications.
Students interested in attending the Youth Tour need to submit a short essay, no more than 500 words in length, on why they would like to attend the Youth Tour. Students must be a junior in high school with their parent/guardian a member of Paul Bunyan Communications Cooperative.
Entries can be dropped off at the Paul Bunyan Communications office in Bemidji or Grand Rapids, or they can mailed to:
The deadline for entries is Friday, March 20.
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.
"We hope that by providing our youth with telecommunications services comparable to those found in urban areas, as well as exposing them to cultural and educational opportunities, such as the FRS Youth Tour, our youth will remain in and become active members in their rural communities," 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 19th consecutive year that Paul Bunyan Communications has participated in sending a local high school junior to the Youth Tour.
The main directory was delivered to homes in over 52 communities over the past month but if you did not receive one, would like additional directories, or would like a 2015 mini-Minnesota Gold directory simply stop by our office in Bemidji or Grand Rapids to pick one up.
In addition to the printed directories, all the most up to date listings for our region and the nation can be found online.
The Minnesota Gold Telephone Directory is produced by Pinnacle, a Bemidji based company that provides publishes over 250 directories in 35 states.
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).