Ely, MN – Fast and reliable connectivity is coming to Northern Minnesota. Recently, Midco activated more than 200 additional miles of fiber to create a Northern Minnesota fiber ring that adds diverse network paths for both Ely and International Falls, protecting against fiber cuts and other unexpected disruptions of Internet and business connections.
In addition, Midco crews will begin installing FTTP (Fiber to the Premises) to homes and businesses in Ely and Winton in early 2022 with best-in-the-world symmetrical, low-latency connections capable of up to 5 Gbps. With future needs in mind, connections can be upgraded to 10 Gbps, which will keep Ely at the epicenter of network performance.
“This significant expansion has been a high priority for us and our customers in Northern Minnesota who have been awaiting greater capacity, faster speeds and enhanced reliability,” said Midco President & CEO Pat McAdaragh. “With a capital investment of $3.75M, this expansion will allow for all of Midco’s services and products.”
“Improving our citizens’ access to high-speed, reliable internet has been an overarching priority of the City of Ely,” said Ely Mayor Chuck Novak. “The speeds, redundancy and reliability Midco will bring our community, and surrounding communities, is a game-changer for our residents, students and businesses. I am grateful for the leadership shown by our community and citizens, and for Midco for making this happen.”
The neighboring communities of Tower, Soudan and Babbitt will see similar construction activity with full FTTP network upgrades in 2023.
“This broadband expansion and investment brought by Midco is critically needed and vital to northern Minnesota,” Minnesota State Senator Tom Bakk said. “While the pandemic continues to impact learning, economic growth, medical and family needs; investments in robust infrastructure systems such as this are crucial in addressing the connectivity gaps that remain across our state.”
“COVID-19 has accelerated our reliance on high-speed internet access, and while we’ve made progress in recent years towards connecting all Minnesotans, the needs in many rural areas have remained unmet,” said Minnesota State Representative Rob Ecklund. “I am so pleased Midco understands this need and how increasingly important broadband is for conducting business, educating our students, providing medical services, and participating in daily life. Not only will these communities be able to fully participate in digital life, they will be a leader in a broadband accessibility throughout the state.”
In addition to the network redundancy and FTTP upgrades in the Ely area, the northern MN communities of International Falls, Ranier and Littlefork will see faster data speeds in the coming year. All three communities will have access to Midco Gig in 2021. Midco Gig is 35 times faster than the average high-speed internet and available at an affordable price.