Rural Broadband Options Explored

By Robin Doege
TWEC President/CEORural Internet Map

A growing frustration for many people in Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative’s service territory is the lack of high-speed communications infrastructure (internet) service. In order to learn more about how our co-op can promote high-speed internet access in rural areas, we have recently been meeting with local communications providers.
These meetings have resulted in a better understanding of the availability of internet services in our region. Currently, there are at least seven communications providers in our electric service territory. The levels of internet services these providers offer our members range from dial-up to several gigabyte broadband service.
As our society becomes more technology and data dependent, high-speed rural internet service is becoming an essential service. High-speed internet plays a critical role in spurring economic growth and development. With this in mind, we have made it one of our goals to look into ways TWEC can promote high-speed internet access for all members in our service area.
Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development awards millions of dollars in state grant funding for the purpose of increasing broadband access in both unserved and underserved rural areas. At TWEC, we are committed to researching the grant options available for our area and staying abreast with potential state initiatives.
Stay tuned as we continue to explore our options. Seventy-five years ago, it was rural electric cooperatives that found a way to provide essential electrical service to rural America. Looking forward, perhaps electric cooperatives will once again play a part “connecting” rural America—this time, by providing essential high-speed internet service.

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Comments

  1. The 4G Antenna Shop is highly recommended for rural areas, they offer equipment such as modems and antennas to get stronger signal from towers. They are reliable and financially acceptable. Check them out!
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