International Falls, Minnesota Welcome Sign

Regional cable operator Midco is in the midst of expanding its fiber broadband reach into several communities in northern Minnesota, the company says. Plans include providing service at speeds capable of up to 5 Gbps with an upgrade path to 10 Gbps in the future.

Part of the Minnesota upgrade is done. Midco has activated more than 200 additional fiber miles to create a northern Minnesota ring serving Ely and International Falls. The ring adds redundancy to its Minnesota footprint.

The company said that early next year crews will begin deploying a symmetrical FTTP network to homes and businesses in Ely and Winton. The neighboring communities of Tower, Soudan and Babbitt will get complete full FTTP upgrades in 2023.

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In addition to the redundancy and FTTP projects, International Falls, Ranier and Littlefork will get access to the faster Midco Gig service in the coming year.

“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,” Midco President and CEO Pat McAdaragh said in a press release. “With a capital investment of $3.75M, this expansion will allow for all of Midco’s services and products.”

Midco, a traditional cable provider, has been growing beyond its hybrid-fiber coax (HFC) roots with an embrace of both FTTP and fixed wireless.

Midco Network Map (Source: Midco website)

Last August, the service provider said that it is offering Midco Gig in 15 North Dakota communities (Bottineau, Bowman, Dunseith, Hettinger, Langdon, Reeder, Rhame, Rolette, Rolla, Rugby, Saint John, Scranton, Towner, Walhalla and Willow City). At the time, the company said that its Gig service was available in 95% of the communities it serves.

On the fixed wireless side, the company said in April 2019 that its goal to provide fixed wireless based on citizens band radio service (CBRS) spectrum was well underway, with a successful trial of a spectrum access system operating between 3550 MHz and 3700 MHz.

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