Garden Valley held a groundbreaking event on Wednesday, June 28th to celebrate the beginning of the work on the Minnesota Broadband Grant Program project in rural Thief River Falls. Construction on this $4.2 million dollar project began in late June on the main line fiber optic cable with service installation to the homes beginning in early 2018.
Garden Valley currently serves over 3,700 square miles in 24 exchanges in NW Minnesota. The last several years we have completed 80% of our fiber-to-the-home network with 100% completion estimated in the next 5 years. The main services Garden Valley offers are Phone, Internet, Video, Cellular, Security and Smart Home Technologies.
The border-to-border broadband grant project for rural Thief River Falls will offer services to almost 400 unserved households and businesses. The total project cost is $4.2 million, with $2 million covered by the state grant and a $2.2 million dollar local match by Garden Valley. A map of the project area can be found on Garden Valley’s website at www.gvtel.com.
Those who attended the event were served a light meal and listened to several special speakers, including Representative Deb Kiel, Senator Mark Johnson, Danna Mackenzie from the Office of Broadband, and Andy Martin, a representative for Senator Amy Klobuchar.
Senator Mark Johnson thanked members and leaders of Garden Valley for having the vision of building this company, working hard on behalf of their members, and bringing this resource into rural areas. He said “We should be proud to be members…This is bringing families back home, this is bringing businesses back home, this is helping out our communities, this is helping out our towns and townships”.
During the event, Andy Martin of Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office read a letter from Senator Klobuchar commending Garden Valley for offering this very important service to the residents of rural Thief River Falls. “This is about more than downloading your favorite movies or TV shows, this is about the upload speeds that will drive the next wave of economic development.” She also mentioned how bringing broadband to the rural areas will improve the lives of students, parents and businesses in the region.
Tim Brinkman, CEO/General Manager for Garden Valley Telephone Company, thanked the Office of Broadband for helping Garden Valley service the unserved residents of rural Thief River Falls. He also thanked legislators for their support.
Despite the rainy day, the turnout was great and the people expressed how happy they are to have Garden Valley coming in to provide them with products and services.