I saw this utility tent across from the library last week and opened the flap. Inside was Steve Poole, one of the employees of the the St. Olaf Telephone Company. (Photo is hazy because I took it through a screened window.) Steve was working on the colleges’ fiber optic cable that runs right down Washington St., from Carleton on its way to St. Olaf. He said the Internet2 connection to the library was ready to be lit. They were just waiting for TPTB to give the go-ahead.
I asked him what he knew about Jaguar Communictions and their plans for FTTP as I’d heard a reliable rumor last week that homeowners in the Circle Lake area were being told that they’d be able to get fiber to their homes later this year. (Jaguar got a $4.6 million USDA Rural Development Loan last year to provide “…varying degrees of voice, data, and video broadband service to more than six thousand residential and business customers” in 8 southern MN counties, including Rice. More info here.) Steve said they’d be deploying it in both Dundas and Northfield soon but as far as he knew, it was strictly residential, whereas the St. Olaf Telephone Company was strictly business.
Now what we need is a Northfield blog/web page/site to keep track of all the fiber and ultra high-speed broadband developments in the area. Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?