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GigaZone: Gigabit Fiber Network from Paul Bunyan CommunicationThe GigaZone Comes to Kelliher and Northome

The GigaZone has come to Kelliher and Northome! As a result of continued upgrades to the cooperative's all-fiber optic network over 1,700 more locations now have access to GigaZone services including Internet speeds up to a Gigabit per second.

GigaZone: Gigabit Fiber Network from Paul Bunyan Communication"We continue to make great progress on upgrading our network to incorporate even more members into the GigaZone and over the next several months we'll be activating the GigaZone in even more areas. I'm very proud of all the hard work our cooperative has put in so far as we put our membership and region at the forefront of the very latest in communication networks. We will continue to do as much as we can to bring the GigaZone to all our members and the communities we serve as fast as we can." said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.

The GigaZone is currently available to over 29,400 locations, making it one of the largest rural all-fiber optic networks in the United States! Check out our online map showing the current areas of the GigaZone as well as those that will be constructed/upgraded in the future.

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 long distance service. All current service options also remain available to cooperative members within the GigaZone.

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.

KOOL-TV2017 Pick-It Bowl Challenge Winners

Paul Bunyan Communications is excited to announce the winners of the 2nd Annual Pick-it Bowl Challenge, a free online contest for participants to pick the winners for the 2016-2017 College Bowl games for a chance to win a credit on a Paul Bunyan Communications account.

Winners of the 2017 Paul Bunyan Communications Pick-It Bowl Challenge

The top 10 finishers all won a credit on their Paul Bunyan Communications account.

  • 2017 Paul Bunyan Communications Pick-It Bowl Challenge winners from left to right: 1st Place - Cheryl Ulen, 2nd Place - Andrew Sundberg, 3rd Place - David Herring1st Place
    $500 credit
    Cheryl Ulen
    New Ulm
  • 2nd Place
    $250 credit
    Andrew Sundberg
    Laporte
  • 3rd Place
    $100 credit
    David Herring
    Grand Rapids
  • 4th Place - $50 credit - Andrew Anderson, Grand Rapids
  • 5th Place - $25 credit - Brian Murawski, Bemidji
  • 6th Place - $25 credit - Dewey Larson, Turtle River
  • 7th Place - $25 credit - Chris Dunshee, Bemidji
  • 8th Place - $25 credit - Brian Kaatz, Lake George
  • 9th Place - $25 credit - David Anderson, Park Rapids
  • 10th Place - $25 credit - Hal Devereux, Kelliher

The next Paul Bunyan Communications Pick-It Challenge is March Mania for the College Division 1 Men's Basketball Tournament.

KOOL-TVKOOL-TV Added to Paul Bunyan Television

KOOL-TV out of Alexandria, MN has been added to Paul Bunyan Television service.

KOOL-TV is available to all PBTV digital subscribers and can be found on channel 233. The network features a mix of classic TV shows and first run syndicated programs. Kool-TV also has local news, weather, and sports weekday mornings and at 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m each weeknight. In addition, Kool-TV features central Minnesota collegiate sports, outdoor and local original shows, and religious programming.

Paul Bunyan Communications CEO Gary Johnson (lower right corner) was named as one of the Twin Cities Business Magazine's (TCB) 100 People to Know.Paul Bunyan Communications CEO Gary Johnson Named Twin Cities Business 100 People to Know

Paul Bunyan Communications CEO Gary Johnson has been named as one of the Twin Cities Business Magazine's (TCB) 100 People to Know.

Twin Cities Business Magazine annually highlights 100 Minnesotans, leaders with insight, experience, and savvy that people in business need to observe, seek out, and learn from in the year ahead. The goal is to identify the key individuals that are expected to make an impact on local business, regional economy, and quality of life in 2017.

Johnson was included in the Pioneers category in recognition of Paul Bunyan Communications' innovation, growth, and continued deployment of the latest in communication technologies including construction of one of the largest rural all-fiber optic networks in the United States.

"On behalf of our entire amazing team at Paul Bunyan Communications, I am honored to be named one of TCB's 100 People to Know. It is their hard work, talent, and dedication that has empowered our cooperative to be a pioneer in the telecommunications industry. We're proof that when you combine a commitment to rural service, a laser-like focus on communications technologies, and the courage to imagine and pursue what's next, there is very little that is not possible. As a cooperative we feel very strongly about investing in our communities so they have access to the most robust, advanced communication services available. It is critical for education, economic development, and quality of life. This is a great honor and reinforces just how cutting edge and important our efforts are" said Johnson.

"As we learned more about Paul Bunyan Communications in the People to Know selection process, it was amazing to see the incredible amount of forward thinking the cooperative has shown over the past 20 years, time and again leading the way in providing the very latest in technology to its members. To talk with Gary and see one of the largest rural all-fiber optic Gigabit networks being rolled out so rapidly in northern Minnesota is inspiring. By highlighting his leadership and the GigaZone initiative hopefully it will lead to similar projects throughout rural Minnesota." said Dale Kurschner, Twin Cities Business Magazine Editor in Chief.

"I congratulate Gary and the entire PBC team!" said Dave Hengel, Executive Director of Greater Bemidji, "Gary's leadership and Paul Bunyan Communication's commitment to our region in many ways has encouraged the greater Bemidji region to think big, be bold and ask the question, 'why not in Bemidji? As I watch our community grow and develop into a vibrant regional center, I can see the fingerprints of Gary's vision and leadership all over our community. It is only fitting for Gary to be named on of TCB's 100 People to Know because of his leadership and what Paul Bunyan is doing for our region."

Paul Bunyan Communications2017 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

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 SchoolEach 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.

Post-Secondary Scholarships

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, Leech Lake Tribal College, and Oak Hills Christian College.

Bemidji State UniversityThere 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, 2017.

Northwest Technical CollegeOne $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, 2017.

Itasca Community CollegeRed Lake Nation CollegeOne $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.

Oak Hills Christian CollegeLeech Lake Tribal CollegeTo 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

Minnesota Telecom AlliancePaul 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 2017 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, 2017.

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

Foundation for Rural ServicePaul 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, 2017. 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.

Foundation for Rural Service16-17 Year Old High School Students: Enter the Paul Bunyan Communications Youth Tour Essay Contest for a Chance to Win a Trip to Washington D.C. Deadline is Friday, March 17

Area High School Students age 16 o 17 are encouraged to enter the Paul Bunyan Communications Essay Contest for a chance to attend the 2017 Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. June 3-7, 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 16 or 17 years of age and 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:

Paul Bunyan Communications Essay Contest
1831 Anne St. NW
Bemidji, MN 56601

The deadline for entries is Friday, March 17.

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.

2016 FRS Youth Tour in 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 NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association of which Paul Bunyan Communications is a member.

This is the 21st consecutive year that Paul Bunyan Communications has participated in sending a local high school student to the Youth Tour.