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Letter: It's now or never for broadband internet

First, thanks to everyone who has signed up and paid for service in the CTC broadband internet project in northern Kandiyohi County!

For the rest — it's now or never for broadband internet! Kandiyohi County may not get another chance for a broadband internet grant from the State and the Legislature may view this as a reason to discontinue the program.

The Kandiyohi County EDC Broadband Committee, made up of all volunteers, has the primary focus of improving internet access in this County. This Committee has been in existence, in various forms, since at least 1999. We have tried to get all partners to the table, including TDS, Frontier and CenturyLink. Each request, they declined. These national telecom companies are only looking out for the bottom dollar and rural Kandiyohi County is not positive to their bottom dollar.

We now have a company, a co-op, that is interested in working with us, Consolidated Telecommunications Company of Brainerd. CTC submitted the grant because they were interested in helping our residents. And they continue to be. As with any company, they need to have a positive cash-flow. That is really what they are looking for.

TDS has been out in full-force and has received a Federal grant to increase speeds in this area. However, the maximum speeds are 40 times slower than what is available with fiber and does not include most properties around Games, Norway, Andrew and Florida lakes. They also have 10 years to complete the project.

And finally, the internet is not going away. From security to smart home to health, education, farming, business and digital television. It all relies on internet. You may have one device now, but in a few years, you may have many.

Oh, and seasonal property owners — CTC has a 6-month on-off plan for you.

Please, support this project and bring a "four-lane information highway" right to your front door! If you are in the Northern Kandiyohi area, please sign up today! We are less than 10 percent away from the success of this project. Sign up today by calling the EDC at 320-235-7370 and sending the $25 fee before Friday.

Mark Boeschen

Kandiyohi County EDC Broadband Committee member