abc
QUICK LINKS:

Middle Mile Fiber Project Almost Done

Updated: 03/25/2014 3:57 PM
Created: 03/25/2014 3:46 PM WDIO.com
By: Renee Passal

So many places in the Northland are benefiting from high speed broadband, brought by the Middle Mile Fiber Project.

Spearheaded by the Northeast Service Cooperative, the project is more than 915 miles of fiber optic cable, that has linked places like St. Luke's, the Virginia Schools, and the city of Duluth offices with high speed internet services.

"We have about 30-35 sites left to connect this construction season," said project coordinator Jeanette Mellesmoen. "We hope to add more in the future. I believe we'll be benefiting even more families in rural areas in the coming years."

The project spans 8 counties in the Northland.

John Klarich, superintendent of Mt. Iron-Buhl schools, said that they've been hooked up for about two years.

"The speed is indescribable. There is instant learning. We have options we've never had before," he explained. Now that the students are using iPads, the speed is especially important. "Our old system wouldn't have supported that."

Jon Loeffen is the Inside Plant Manager for the project, and showed us inside one of their main hubs at the Northeast Service Cooperative. "Think of fiber optic as kind of like a rainbow. We capture the light coming in off the different colors, and split those colors off into services for people." 

It's different than other providers because it has a variety of back-up measures in place, including batteries to make sure there is always power.

A combination of federal grant and loan are paying for the installation of the fiber optic. Users pay a monthly fee.

The Northeast Service Cooperative recently received the Brian L. Talbott Award for distinguished contribution in the area of technological innovation and support to local school districts. They were the only ones, out of 552 others across the nation. The award was given out in Texas, from the Association of Educational Service Agencies.

Front Page

  • Duluth Adds 2,200 Students: Move-In Day for UMD

    The population in Duluth went up a couple of thousand on Thursday, as the freshman class at UMD moved into the dorms.

  • Incoming UWS Freshmen Carry the Comforts of Home

    Incoming freshmen moved into their dorms at the University of Wisconsin Superior on Thursday. The new college students were carrying all of their belongings, including a lot of technology that hasn't always been so common on a college campus.

  • Getting Kids Ready to Go Back to School

    Like it or not, the new school year is just around the corner. After three months of late nights, sleeping in, snacking, and tons of fun, transitioning back to the school year can be tough. Eyewitness News learned a few tips that can ease the change.

  • St. Paul Think Tank Releases Report on Minnesota School Spending

    Minnesota 2020, a progressive St. Paul-based think tank, released a new report on Thursday. They gathered financial data from Minnesota schools from the previous 10 years, looking at spending in schools. They held a press conference on Thursday calling for a shift in focus from testing to "enriching courses."

  • Duluth-Superior Pride Weekend Kicks Off

    The events will run from Thursday until Sunday  with a fan favorite, Pride Festival in the Park, taking place on Saturday at Bayfront Festival Park. Many of these events and activities are free of charge and family friendly.

 
Advertisement