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Spring Solar InterferenceSpring Solar Interference Affects PBTV Service

Service interruption of some individual channels will occur for approximately 10 minutes during the late afternoon hours over the next 10 day period due to solar interference. During the interference, reception will range from minor sparkles to loss of reception or picture freezing.

Solar interference occurs each calendar year in both the spring and the fall.

What channels are affected and when will vary over the next 10 days.

Women's Wellness & Lifestyle Expo2015 Women's Wellness & Lifestyle Expo February 28 at ICC in Grand Rapids

The 2015 Women's Wellness & Lifestyle Expo is Saturday, February 28 from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at Itasca Community College. Admission is FREE and the event includes entertainment, a show of strength style show, breakout sessions and marketplace with vendors. Keynote speaker is Theresa Rose a nationally-acclaimed inspirational performer, award-winning author, and hardcore hoopdancer who is passionate about helping others to live, work and move in joy.

This event is made possible in part by support from Paul Bunyan Communications.

  • For more information, visit itascalifestyleexpo.com or contact Joni Namyst at the Itasca County Family YMCA at 218-327-1161.

GigaZone: Gigabit Fiber Network from Paul Bunyan CommunicationGigabit Internet Comes to Itasca County; GigaZone Activated in Trout Lake Township

Gigabit Internet service has come to Itasca County. Paul Bunyan Communications has activated its newly constructed network in the Trout Lake Township making it the first area of the GigaZone in Itasca County.

"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.

GigaZone: Gigabit Fiber Network from Paul Bunyan Communication"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.

"We started expansion of our communications network into the Trout Lake Township last summer. It is the first area in Itasca County to gain access to our Gigabit network and our additional GigaZone service options. This is only the start. As we continue to upgrade our existing network many more areas will also have GigaZone services made available to them," added Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.

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 March in the cooperative's Park Rapids exchange which also includes the areas of Two Inlets, Dorset, and Emmaville. Additional GigaZone upgrades in 2015 are planned for Lake George, Big Falls, as well as more areas in and around Bemidji, Cohasset, and Grand Rapids. 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 Bissonette.

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.

Food Network, DIY, HGTV, and Travel ChannelFood Network, DIY, HGTV, and Travel Channel added to PBTV Everywhere

Four more networks have been added to PBTV Everywhere: Food Network, DIY, HGTV, and Travel Channel!

There are now over 50 networks available through PBTV Everywhere and more will be added soon.

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.

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.

RFD TVRFD-TV Added in High Definition

Paul Bunyan Communications has added yet another network in high definition to PBTV HD service, RFD-TV.

RFD-TV HD is on channel 676 and is available to all PBTV HD subscribers with PBTV Extra subscription. RFD-TV is the nation's first 24-hour television network dedicated to serving the needs and interests of rural America with programming focused on agriculture, equine and the rural lifestyle, along with traditional country music and entertainment.

PBTV HD service can be added to PBTV service for $9.95 per month. 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.

NMBA Builders20th Annual NMBA Builder's Home & Cabin Show is March 6-8 in Grand Rapids

The Northern Minnesota Builder's Association will hold the 20th Annual Home & Cabin Show March 6-8 at the IRA Civic Center in Grand Rapids.

Be sure to stop by the Paul Bunyan Communications exhibit at the show to pick up a free gift while supplies last and learn more about our services including GigaZone Broadband Internet, Whole-home DVR, PBTV Everywhere, On Demand and PBTV HD.

Show Hours are:

  • Friday, March 6 3-7 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 7 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 8 Noon-4 p.m.

This event is sponsored in part by Paul Bunyan Communications and includes booths featuring a wide variety of products & services, a silent auction, and a chance to win over lots of prizes!

Paul Bunyan Communications2015 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, 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. Deadline for applications has passed (February 1).


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, 2015.

Red Lake Nation CollegeItasca Community 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 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

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 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.

Paul Bunyan CommunicationsHigh 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:

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

The deadline for entries is Friday, March 20.

FRS Yout Tour 2015

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.

Foundation for Rural ServiceThe 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.

Paul Bunyan CommunicationsPaul Bunyan Communications Expanding All-Fiber Optic Network into Trout Lake Township

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).