Extending broadband to rural corners of the U.S. presents a number of challenges, including rugged terrain, difficult economics, and geographic hurdles, just to name a few. Despite these difficulties, America’s broadband providers have been extending their networks to the farthest corners of the country. Many ISPs have been hard at work for years, investing their own money and resources to connect rural communities. Mediacom’s recent network expansion in Minnesota is just one example of these efforts.
In Lakewood Township, Minnesota, a town of about 2,000 people near the shores of Lake Superior, residents and the local government came together with a proposal to Mediacom to extend its nearby network to the sparsely populated corner of Saint Louis County. The ISP was eager to work with such an engaged community and, after assessing the situation, decided to go ahead with extending its network to offer fiber to the home using its own private capital, foregoing an offer from the county to chip in $400k.
Harsh Conditions and Challenging Work
Undertaking the project hasn’t been easy—harsh winter weather conditions coupled with the spread-out population and the unexpected need to construct nearly all of the network underground makes the work difficult. To overcome these challenges, Mediacom has been installing equipment that can handle the extreme weather. The project is expected to be completed this spring or summer.
As a result of Mediacom’s hard work, and the partnership of the community and local governments, Lakewood Township will soon boast a fiber-to-the-home network ready for future technologies and the demand they will place on networks.