Hope emerges as Arrowhead breaks ground on broadband project

“A $43.5 million dollar fiber optic project made its first official mark on [the] region. It’s a bright outlook for the future of northeastern Minnesota,” reports the Northland News Center.

Hundreds of miles of fiber optic cables will bring faster Internet access to the Arrowhead region of Minnesota by the end of this summer. Ground for a broadband network stretching 915 miles was broken yesterday. Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and other politicians were on hand to tout the long-term economic significance of this federally funded project.

More on the Mountain Iron event from the Northland News Center:

The … network will stretch across eight counties in the Arrowhead Region and bring world class web speeds to the area.

Some of the first people to see a change in service will be health care facilities and schools, where administrators say Internet plays a vital role in education.

“It’s like a rope, and it’s just one of the pieces in our rope that is woven into it is this technology and this going to link our schools together over the whole region,” said Dr. Charles Rick, superintendent with ISD 2142.

Ground Level’s Jennifer Vogel has a deeper look at the project:

At least by some measures, Cook County in far northeastern Minnesota, has the worst Internet service in the state. Thanks to federal stimulus dollars, this is poised to change. But residents hope high-speed won’t change everything about this remote, beautiful county

Michael Caputo distilled the perspective shared in a forum about broadband in the region.

Ground Level White Paper: What is broadband?

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