RS Fiber Coop to Launch Fiber Services in Rural Minn. in 2015

WINTHROP, MN – The RS Fiber Cooperative fiber optic broadband initiative will begin offering services to select areas as soon as 2015 including Internet, TV and phone. According to RS Fiber Board Chair Mark Brandt, the collaboration with Hiawatha Broadband Communications (HBC), Winona, Minn., has made the expedited service possible. He said, “Working with HBC has really helped move this project forward. Their experience in developing these types of rural fiber networks will help us get initial services out to portions of the public significantly sooner than we initially projected. This will also help us reduce the overall cost of the project. It will be a win-win for everyone involved.”

The RS Fiber Cooperative board anticipates offering fiber services of up to 1 Gbps to approximately 1,600 homes and businesses in late 2015. A fiber-based air broadband service of 25 Mbps will also be made available, including Internet and phone service, to approximately 90 percent of the project area by 2016. This will allow the delivery of initial services while the rest of the fiber network is being installed.

In addition to the earlier than expected service offering, HBC’s expertise is also impacting the project positively in other areas. Brandt said, “HBC is creating the most efficient project possible. For example, they’re working with fiber cable manufacturers to procure fiber optic cable in the most cost effective manner. In addition, their network installation knowledge will prove very valuable as construction gets underway, ensuring that the project will go smoothly, with limited disruption.”

Upon completion, the RS Fiber Cooperative will operate a fiber optic network for most of Sibley County and portions of Renville, Nicollet, and McLeod County. Over 6,200 potential customers will be able to use this high-speed fiber optic network, which will provide data speeds that can be over ten times faster than speeds offered by current service providers.

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