News & Events
Paul Bunyan Communications awarded State of Minnesota Border to Border Broadband Grant for portions of Itasca County, St. Louis County, and Hubbard County
Cooperative will bring Broadband network to 834 locations
As a result, the cooperative will begin expansion construction next spring that will pass a minimum of 830 locations. The areas include the Hwy 34 corridor between Nevis and Park Rapids in Hubbard County [Map: Park Rapids HWY 34 Cooridor], portions of the Side Lake Area that include locations in both Itasca County [Map: Side Lake Area] and St. Louis County, and an area Southeast of Bigfork and North of Scenic Highway [Map: Scenic Highway North]. The project is estimated to cost $1.78 million, with Paul Bunyan Communications contributing $980,990, and the State of Minnesota Border to Border grant contributing $802,620.
"We are excited to continue our efforts to bring broadband Internet speeds and services to those currently without it in our region. Our cooperative has a long history of expanding our network to unserved areas but it has become more difficult to go it alone without grant support. Thanks to the State of Minnesota Border to Border Grant Program we will be able to reach even more homes and businesses with speeds of up to a Gigabit per second further extending one of the largest rural Gigabit networks in the country!," said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.
Paul Bunyan Communications expects to finalize the expansion plans by early spring and will contact locations along the upcoming expansion routes shortly thereafter. Construction will start in the summer and will be completed by June 30, 2020. Those in the region interested in keeping up to date on the project can look for updates here on our website. Those in Itasca County can also join the Paul Bunyan Communications Itasca County Fiber Projects group on Facebook.
"This is a big deal to those in our project areas. I am excited about the opportunities that Paul Bunyan's technology will bring to these locations. Employees will be able to work from home, students will have access to vast educational resources at incredible speeds, and seniors will be able to stay in their homes longer with telemedicine." added Steve Howard, Paul Bunyan Communications Information Technology and Development Manager. "Access to high quality affordable Internet has been our focus at the cooperative since 1999. Our team has built a world class all-fiber optic network that has made it happen." said Howard.
"I must salute the hard work of our elected officials who have 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 makes a world of difference in so many ways to a lot of people right here in northern Minnesota!" 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 telephone 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.
Thursday, November 23
Offices will be closed in observation of Thanksgiving
Monday, December 25
Offices will be closed in observation of Christmas holiday
Monday, January 1
Offices will be closed in observation of New Year's holiday
Happy Holidays from all of us at Paul Bunyan Communications!
Second award the GigaZone Gaming Championship has received in 2017
Paul Bunyan Communications' GigaZone Gaming Championship, the first stadium-style eSporting event in northern Minnesota, has been awarded the Calix Best Innovation in Residential Subscriber Experience for 2017.
The Calix Innovation Awards are given annually to Calix customers – technology companies from around the world – who demonstrated outstanding creativity when leveraging Calix technology to deploy best-in-class services. The award recognizes innovation in the use of access, premises, and cloud technologies to transform businesses and networks.
"Congratulations to Paul Bunyan Communications on their Best of Innovation in Residential Subscriber Experience Award!" said Michael Weening, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Calix. "Typically, events of this type and caliber are only found in major metropolitan areas. The GigaZone Gaming Championship and other progressive initiatives underscore Paul Bunyan's commitment to their rural region and their willingness to be industry innovators and leaders, whether that's building one of the largest rural all-fiber optic gigabit broadband networks in the country or creating this exceptional gaming event. The award is well deserved."
"We are honored to receive this innovation award from Calix. It's very rewarding to see how the region is embracing this event that showcases our Calix-enabled broadband technology and creative and talented technical team. Attendance doubled at our second GigaZone Gaming Championship held in September!" said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.
This international award is the second prominent recognition the GigaZone Gaming Championship has received this year. In May, Paul Bunyan Communications received the 2017 TeleChoice Award for their complete marketing campaign of the GigaZone Gaming Championship by the NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association. The annual awards program honors excellence in public relations and marketing.
The Annual Paul Bunyan Communications Holiday Open House will be Friday, December 8 at both our Grand Rapids and Bemidji offices. Stop in from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for cookies/hot apple cider and pick up the 2017 Paul Bunyan Communications Holiday Ornament, 2018 calendars, and 2018 Minnesota Gold Telephone Directory while supplies last.
Help celebrate the holiday season with your local cooperative, stop in during the Holiday Open House at Paul Bunyan Communications!
Get in to win with the 3rd Annual Paul Bunyan Communications Pick-it Bowl Challenge, a free online contest for participants to pick the winners for the 2017-18 College Bowl games for a chance to win a credit on a Paul Bunyan Communications account.
The top 10 finishers will win a credit on their Paul Bunyan Communications account. First place winner will receive a $500 credit, second place is a $250 credit.
The first official College Bowl game this year is December 16 so be sure to register and make your picks by December 15 for the best chance at winning!
The Pick-it Bowl Challenge is a fun and free way to interact with others in northern Minnesota and enjoy a little friendly competition. Must be 18 years of age or older. Limit one entry per person. Prizes not redeemable for cash. Void where prohibited. Some restrictions may apply. See Pick It Bowl Challenge website for complete contest rules.
Paul Bunyan Television Adds My9 Duluth and Me-TV Duluth in High Definition for East Side PBTV HD Subscribers
Paul Bunyan Communications has added My9, KBJR Duluth and Me-TV, WDIO Duluth in high definition to PBTV HD service. Both are Duluth broadcast networks and only available to PBTV HD subscribers in Koochiching and Itasca County.
My9 HD, KBJR-Duluth is on PBTV channel 519. My 9 carries top off-network programs Monday-Friday in prime time as well as over 85 college and high school football and hockey games including regular-season men's hockey home and away games from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. My 9 Sports is the exclusive home of the Wisconsin State High School playoffs in February and March. Daytime and overnight programming on My 9 consists of classic western and detective shows provided by the Heroes and Icons Channel.
Me-TV HD, WDIO-Duluth, is on PBTV channel 520. It is locally owned and operated by Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc. MeTV, Memorable Entertainment Television features more than 50 of the greatest TV series ever made, selected from MeTV's incredible library of classic television. including M*A*S*H, The Andy Griffith Show, Carol Burnett and Friends, Mary Tyler Moore, I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners and The Odd Couple; dramas such as Perry Mason and Columbo; great westerns including Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Rifleman and The Big Valley; the heroics of Batman, Adventures of Superman and Wonder Woman, and otherworldly classics such as Star Trek, Lost In Space and The Twilight Zone – and so much more!
Paul Bunyan Television Adds Bemidji High School TV in High Definition
Paul Bunyan Communications has added Bemidji High School (BHS) TV in high definition to PBTV HD service. BHS TV HD is now available to PBTV HD subscribers in Beltrami, Cass, and Hubbard County.
BHS TV HD is on PBTV channel 590. BHS TV features the High School's daily announcements, weekly student driven show, "Lumberjack Live," and the monthly School Board meetings. Periodically past concerts, musicals, and events are aired. BHS TV is also looking into the possibility of broadcasting live high school sporting events.
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, Leech Lake Tribal 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, 2018.
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, 2018.
Minnesota Telecom Alliance Foundation Scholarship
The application for 2018 can be downloaded at MTA scholarship page and must be turned in to Paul Bunyan Communications no later than March 1, 2018.
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 1, 2018. 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.
Over $2.1 million has been returned to members of Paul Bunyan Communications, the cooperative has announced.
Paul Bunyan Communications is a not for profit company that strives to provide the highest quality service at the most affordable rates. As a cooperative, membership in Paul Bunyan Communications includes the opportunity to share in the financial success of the company. When profits are earned they are allocated to the members based on their proportional share of the allocable revenues. These allocations may then be returned to the individual members through capital credit retirements.
"The state of our cooperative is very strong with over 22,000 members throughout our 5,500 square mile service territory. We have been very busy building one of the largest all-fiber optic rural Gigabit networks in the country, the GigaZone, which is revolutionizing the way members live, work, and play. It is rewarding to see all those efforts continue to pay off and return these profits to our membership" said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.
"For over 60 years we have been providing the latest in technology at cost. There is no membership fee to join Paul Bunyan Communications and there are no annual membership dues. All you need to do is subscribe to either one line of local phone or Broadband Internet service and you become a member. You get the latest in technology backed up by our talented team of over 130 local employees that all live and work here" added Dave Schultz, Paul Bunyan Communications Chief Financial Officer.
"In a highly competitive industry with national competitors our cooperative has been successful because we put our region and our members first. We aren't worried about customers in Fargo, Denver, Minneapolis, or anywhere else. Our investments go here, back into our network, our services, and our communities." added Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.
If you were a member of the cooperative in 2002 and/or 2016 and accrued more than $10 in total capital credit allocations, but do not receive a check by October 17, please contact Paul Bunyan Communications at (218) 444-1234 or (218) 999-1234.
Paul Bunyan Communications Will Not Sell Customer Web Browsing History
Recently new federal legislation was passed that allows Internet Service Providers to sell their customers' web browsing history. Paul Bunyan Communications wants to reassure its members that no matter what the law allows they do not collect and sell member's web browsing history.
"Our members' privacy is of the utmost importance to our member-owned and governed cooperative. We have never sold member web browsing history and have no plans to do so in the future regardless of what the rules and regulations may allow," said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.
"As you might imagine we are getting calls from concerned customers and members of our cooperative as the news of this new legislation spreads. We feel it is extremely important to reassure our customers that our cooperative will not sell their web browsing history. It's your cooperative and your data, period. Any provider who sells their customers' web browsing history without their consent is putting profits ahead of the trust of its customers and we believe that flies in the face of common decency, customer privacy, and certainly our cooperative values and principles," added Johnson.