March 2017

Quickly Upgrading to Fiber

Ascending technology means we’re always striving to provide you with the best service available. We, at AcenTek, take that slogan pretty seriously and the proof can be found in the details of our fiber expansion. According to Broadbandnow.com, only 7.9% of Minnesotans have access to 1 gigabit broadband. We want to provide our customers with the most robust delivery method for Voice, Video and Internet and that is why we continue our plans to deploy fiber to the areas we serve.

In early January, AcenTek was awarded the Border-to-Border Grant for rural Lanesboro. The Lanesboro fiber project is just one of 42 in Minnesota that will receive funding through this grant program. This “last mile” project will serve 431 unserved households, 42 unserved businesses, and 1 community anchor institution in the rural Lanesboro area, including Whalan, Carrolton Township, and Holt Township. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota and Fillmore County, Acentek will improve service to 1 Gigabit up and down, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. The project directly affects 22 physical business buildings and provides telecommuting opportunities for employees of Rochester-based Mayo Clinic and IBM who live in the Lanesboro area, reducing 45-minute commutes to zero-minute commutes. The grant awarded was for $1,777,936. The staking process for rural Lanesboro began in early March with construction likely to beginning in September. While some of the construction will take place this fall, the remainder will be completed in 2018.

In addition to bringing fiber to rural Lanesboro, we are excited to be bringing fiber to the homes in the city limits of Rushford. Construction will start in May on the north end of town in hopes of completing the new school by June. Central Cable is the contractor hired to do our construction which will be completed in September.We project customer installs to be complete by March of 2018.

Besides the two new fiber projects, AcenTek continues to work on the fiber project in La Crescent, now in its final phase of construction. The final upgrade is taking place in the rural areas, west of town. This phase is nearly complete, with only 76 homes remaining to be converted.

The fiber activity continues in Michigan as well, as Allendale enters phase three of the project. Here the upgrade is to the township area and early projections put construction running June through October.

While there are extensive fiber builds happening in Lanesboro, Rushford, La Crescent and Allendale, customers outside of the areas will also enjoy the benefits fiber has to offer. How? Every home we serve is connected to a cabinet which is connected to AcenTek. In many of our exchanges the connection between the cabinet and AcenTek are being upgraded and will be fiber-fed by fall of 2017. In the Canton, Eitzen, Highlandville and Hokah areas existing copper-fed cabinets which have restricted services will be upgraded to fiber.In Iowa, five rural cabinets in the New Albin exchange, 13 in the Fort Atkinson exchange, and a couple of cabinets by Clermont will all be upgraded by this fall. This means faster Internet speeds for the customers in these areas, as well as the capability of video services to homes, based on proximity to the cabinet.