Fiber to the library ready; fiber to homes coming; fiber website needed

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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?


  1. Jerry Bilek said:

    Griff, you should talk to Craig Dunton. He probably knows all about it. St. Olaf Telephone will be hooking me up in the next day or two. They gave me a groovy pizza cutter for signing up.

    “anyone? anyone? anyone?” free book to the first person to name the actor who said that.

    April 23, 2007
  2. Curt Benson said:

    Ben Stein, in Ferris Bueller.

    April 23, 2007
  3. Jerry Bilek said:

    good call, stop by Monkey See, Monkey Read for your book.


    April 23, 2007
  4. Curt Benson said:


    April 23, 2007
  5. Griff Wigley said:

    Wake up and smell the coffee, Mr. Benson. It’s a fool’s paradise. He is just leading you down the primrose path.

    April 23, 2007
  6. Jerry Bilek said:

    I should be fiber ready by tomorrow. I asked how fast will this be? the reply was “How fast do you want it?” I said as long as it’s faster than anything Wigley’s got I’m cool.

    stop by to view my fiber Griff and I’ll give you my St. Olaf Telephone beverage container. Or possibly a free book, but it will have to be a fantasy novel. Primrose path??? I believe it was Ray Davies who said “Give the People What they Want.”

    April 23, 2007
  7. Bill Ostrem said:

    Thanks for unzipping that tent and doing some true investigative journalism, Griff! Fiber optic broadband would be a huge boon to the area.

    April 24, 2007
  8. Bill Ostrem said:

    Coincidentally, I just got an email from Charter saying that my 3 megabytes per second Internet service had just been increased to 5 megabytes per second.

    It says: “Attention Charter High-Speed Internet 3.0 mbps customers. You can now enjoy Charter High-Speed Internet 5.0 mbps. Your speed increase has automatically gone into effect and will be in place until Jan. 31, 2008. All you need to do is enjoy your free trial upgrade.”

    So I infer that 5 mbps service is their new minimum service and that they will raise the price Feb. 1, 2008. Perhaps someone could confirm that. If they don’t raise the rate much, I’ll be OK with that.

    Anyways, it’s good news for now!

    Here’s a link to a with the information.

    April 24, 2007
  9. Griff Wigley said:

    I’m getting their 10MB service (10 down, 1 up). Not too bad, but slower in the evenings.

    April 24, 2007
  10. Tracy Davis said:

    Hey guys, just get all your friends and associates to start lobbying your Ward and At-Large City Council reps to let them know WHY fiber-to-the-premises is important, why municipal participation is necessary and desirable (i.e., the industry economies of scale make it likely that Northfield will fall even further behind the technology curve); then maybe we can start building some political will instead of our current political won’t.

    April 24, 2007
  11. John S. Thomas said:

    I am still thinking the Charter pricepoint is too high for the 10 MB Service.

    We need more competition, so that the price drops.

    April 25, 2007
  12. John S. Thomas said:

    I think the last price I was quoted for 10 MB service was about $65 a month plus modem rental?

    April 25, 2007

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