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Letter: It's now or never for broadband option

Through the efforts of the Economic Development Commission's Broadband Committee, a very supportive study showing strong interest for the project, as well as many other advocates, Kandiyohi County was awarded a $4.9 million grant to provide high speed internet to unserved/underserved citizens in northern Kandiyohi County.

Consolidated Telecommunications Company was chosen to implement the project. Last week in a conference call, CTC announced that they were "pulling the plug" because of low signup/$25 commitment fee activity.

Space does not permit a full discussion of the reasons why this project is on the brink so I will get to the bottom line.

Part of marketing failure thus far is that we failed to set a deadline, so many people put off a decision. Here it is!

It is urgent that everyone who previously committed to the project send the $25 fee to CTC before July 21.

We also still need about 140 more folks to commit and pay the fee to reach our ultimate goal of 810 parcels signed up.

Advantages you should consider.

Speed: 100mbps download and upload for $50/month (in Willmar I pay Spectrum $54, tested this morning 68 mbps down, 9 mbps up) Test yours by Googling Internet Speed Test.

Free installation to your home/ business: This could cost you thousands in the future, depending on the distance from the mainline. In one example quoted, 1,000 feet would cost $13,000. How long is your driveway?

Value: A study at the University of Colorado, Boulder found an average of 3 percent increase in home value with fiber-optic cable to your house. Realtors have told us this as well.

Education: Snow days may be a thing of the past, with students working from home on their iPads. Rural students will be disadvantaged when/if this happens.

As the county commissioner who serves a large portion of the buildout area, I am deeply committed to the success of this project, not only for the folks fortunate enough to be included in the area, but even more importantly for those that were not.

If this project fails, despite the efforts of many, it will be even more difficult to attract another grant.

Rollie Nissen

Kandiyohi County Commissioner

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