News & Events
PBC Offices Closing Early will be closed Saturday, May 28 and Monday, May 30 for Memorial Holiday
There are office closures in May.
On May 25, both of our offices will close early for the annual Cooperative Celebration and our offices will be closed two days for the Memorial Day Holiday.
Saturday, May 28 & Monday, May 30
- Both offices are closed to observe the Memorial Day Holiday
As always, 24 hour emergency repair will be available to customers.
Sundance TV Added to PBTV Extra; Sundance TV HD Added to PBTV HD
Paul Bunyan Communications has added Sundance TV to PBTV Extra and also Sundance TV HD to PBTV HD service.
Since its launch in 1996, SundanceTV has remained true to founder Robert Redford's mission to celebrate creativity and distinctive storytelling through unique voices and narratives found in the best independent films. From delivering critically acclaimed Emmy®, Golden Globe® and Peabody Award-winning television featuring some of the world's most talented creators and performers, to showcasing some of the most compelling and iconic films across genres and generations, SundanceTV is a smart and thought-provoking entertainment destination.
Sundance TV is on channel 141 and is available to all PBTV subscribers who also subscribe to PBTV Extra.
Sundance TV HD is on channel 641 and is available to all PBTV HD subscribers who also subscribe to PBTV Extra.
District 8 Caucus held Tuesday, March 29; District 3 Cooperative Caucus Was Tuesday, April 5
The purpose of the caucus meetings is to nominate a director candidate or candidates to represent the district on the Paul Bunyan Rural Telephone Cooperative Board of Directors.
The caucus for District 3 was held on Tuesday, April 5 at the Sand Lake Community Center. The current director from District 3 is Kathy Peterson. She was nominated and seconded. No other nominations were made.
The caucus for District 8 was held on Tuesday, March 29 in the videoconference room at the cooperative headquarters in Bemidji. The current director from District 8 is Jim Sutton. He was nominated and seconded. No other nominations were made.
Based on the caucus results, Jim Sutton will serve another term as District 8 Board of Director and Kathy Peterson will serve another term as the District 3 Board of Director. Directors serve a five-year term, with next term expiring in the year 2021 for both districts.
In addition to being an opportunity to nominate persons to represent the district, the caucus meetings were an opportunity for members to ask questions concerning the Cooperative. The meeting was attended by several managers/supervisors, including CEO/General Manager Gary Johnson.
Sydney Preston of Kelliher High School selected as the Paul Bunyan Communications Youth Tour Essay Contest Winner
Paul Bunyan Communications has selected Sydney Preston as the winner of the cooperative's 2016 Youth Tour Essay Contest. Sydney is currently a junior at Kelliher High School, is the daughter of Brenda Pula and Joseph Preston, and will attend the 2016 Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. June 4-8, with all expenses paid by Paul Bunyan Communications.
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.
"The FRS Youth Tour is a unique opportunity for a local student from our area to visit Washington D.C. to gain a better perspective on how regulatory decisions impact our cooperative and rural areas. Sydney will also get the chance to see a lot of historic sites in our nation's capital!" 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 20th consecutive year that Paul Bunyan Communications has participated in sending a local high school student to the Youth Tour.
The GigaZone Activated for Over 3,400 More Locations
Over 3,400 more locations in the Bemidji and Grand Rapids area have been upgraded and are now in the GigaZone.
"We continue to make great progress on upgrading our network to incorporate even more member locations into the GigaZone. It's exciting, particularly for those who are now able to get Gigabit Internet services, and we will continue to do as much as we can to bring the GigaZone to all our members and communities we serve as fast as we can." said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.
The GigaZone is currently available to over 17,400 locations including all of the cooperative's service area of rural Park Rapids, Lake George, Trout Lake Township east of Grand Rapids, most of Grand Rapids, and areas of Bemidji.
Paul Bunyan Communications recently mailed out information to the new locations in the Bemidji and Grand Rapids area that are now in the GigaZone and the cooperative has an online map showing the active areas of the GigaZone as well as those areas that will be constructed/upgraded in the future.
"Lots of folks are wondering when the GigaZone will reach their location. The online map of the active areas and plans for this year is a great resource for those interested in checking on their specific location." added Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.
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 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.
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.