Connected: Community Broadband up North.
What is our community broadband project?
Arrowhead Electric Cooperative (AECI) is building a fiber-to-the-home network capable of delivering high-speed broadband service, telephone, TV, distance learning, tele-medicine, smart grid energy solutions, and other advanced broadband applications to the residents of Cook County. Due to the relatively rural nature of the area, existing telecommunications providers have not upgraded their networks to provide the critical high speed access that our citizens need. This project will allow our area to take our future in to our own hands and provide the services that will allow our citizens to prosper.
About the Project
Arrowhead Electric Cooperative has been awarded a combination grant and loan package from the USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS). The funding is part of the greater American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) implemented to facilitate the economic recovery in the United States. The funds will allow Arrowhead Electric Cooperative to construct a fiber optic network in Cook County, MN. By constructing fiber optic lines right to the side of your home or business Arrowhead Electric Cooperative is able to provide High Speed Internet, Phone and TV services.
The fiber optic network will be constructed following existing electrical facilities. Construction will be overhead where electric is overhead and underground where electric is underground. This project will be built to everyone in Cook County who currently has electric utility service, including the City of Grand Marais.
Frequently Asked Questions about our Community Fiber Project.
What is the process for construction?
Construction of the fiber optic network involves a number of steps. This means construction crews may be working on your property more than one time. It is possible crews might need to visit your property up to 5 times as different crews do different work that involves: 1) Installing the overhead support line or underground conduit, 2)lashing the fiber optic cable to the overhead support line or inserting into the underground conduit, 3)Installing devices on the overhead line or within underground pedestals which will “splice” the fiber, 4) Installing the overhead or underground line directly to the side of your home, 5) Installing an enclosure on the outside of your home in which the fiber optic cable will terminate.
After the fiber optic cable is installed, you will be able to sign up for amazing High Speed Internet, TV, and phone from Arrowhead Electric Cooperative! When you sign up for service with us we will schedule a time to visit your home to make the final connections.
What will the service(s) cost and will contracts be required?
Internet, Phone and TV services will be offered individually and bundled together. The prices are still being developed. Contract terms ranging from month to month and reduced prices for those signing a longer term contract are being evaluated. As soon as the prices and terms are set Arrowhead will publish this information.
Will a Seasonal rate be available?
At this time a seasonal rate has not been developed. Once the year round rates and terms are finalized Arrowhead will evaluate the financial feasibility of a seasonal rate.
If existing electrical service is underground, how will the fiber be run?
Construction of the fiber optic network will follow our existing power lines. If existing power lines are buried then the fiber optic cable will be buried in those locations.
Once construction has been completed who will maintain the fiber lines and/or make repairs if necessary?
Arrowhead Electric Cooperative will maintain the fiber and make necessary repairs.
I live “off-grid” will I be able to receive fiber optics to my property?
Homes and businesses that do not have electric service from Arrowhead Electric Cooperative or the Grand Marais PUC have not been included in the grant/loan award.
Arrowhead Electric Cooperative does not wish to exclude anyone in Cook County and will work to help provide service to everyone. The financial details of how property owners “off-grid” may receive service have not been determined.
How can I learn more about wiring the inside of my home?
Each building is unique and thus what works in one building may not work in another building. In most instances, in home wiring will be minor and not require a lot of work. What is needed at your home will be determined at the time of installation. Arrowhead has compiled a brief overview of what is generally needed to wire a home. This information can be downloaded here, or contact our office and we can mail it to you.
Construction Project Map(s):