June 2024

Rural Dakota to Benefit from Fiber Build

On Tuesday, June 25th, AcenTek held their groundbreaking event for the Dakota fiber build. The local provider of Internet, Voice and Video services is replacing their copper facility with fiber optics. This upgrade will provide rural residents with much faster internet speeds of up to 1 Gig.

Among those who attended the event held at Southwind Orchards in Dakota, was 5th District Commissioner, Marcia Ward, and Minnesota Broadband Director, Bree Maki. More than 20 people were in attendance for the short ceremony including team members from Central Cable (contractors for the project), CNS (engineering team), AcenTek board members, staff from Southwind Orchards and local rescue and township workers. After the short ceremony, guests were invited to a nearby work site to witness the process of boring fiber.

In 2022, AcenTek was awarded a Border-to-Border grant which helps with about 40% of the estimated $8 million dollar price tag associated with this project. Construction recently started in Dakota. The project’s estimated completion date is March 2025.

Mike Osborne, CEO of AcenTek spoke about the importance of the grant program in helping AcenTek bring fiber to rural communities like Dakota. He said, “While AcenTek covers most of the cost for these builds, we are thankful for our partnership with the Border-to-Border grant program. We couldn’t bring fiber at this pace without their help. Grants have helped us to accelerate our fiber build outs.”

The process of bringing fiber to rural communities is expensive and takes time and resources. But the growing demand for internet for everyday life is the reason AcenTek feels motivated to continue bringing fiber to customers. This phase of the Dakota project will include 623 homes, businesses and farms. Currently many of the people living and working in this area are only able to get internet speeds of 25Mbps.

{Front row} GARTH ZENKE (AcenTek Board of Directors), MARCIA WARD (5th District Commissioner) and BREE MAKI (Minnesota Broadband Director)

Mike Osborne, CEO, shares some information with the crowd, gathered at the groundbreaking event for the Dakota fiber project.

The work begins as a boring machine was spotted just off Apple Blossom Drive.