June 15 Special Broadband Meeting



JUNE 15, 2021 6:30

Call to order at 6:30 PM by Chair Ralston with Supervisors Deluca, Skubic, Drobac and Lofquist present, Clerk Spicer absent Treasurer Fazio absent

Also present Joe Buttweiler CTC, Whitney Ridlon IRRRB, Steve Georgi RAMS


John and Joanne Bassing, Lee and Beverly Peterson,Jodie Summit, Byron Biehoffer Ruth Deluca, Pam Lundstrom, Steve Zaudkte and 2 call in parties

Barb Lofquist introduced members of the Broadband committee present and commented on the zero response for the committee survey. No other information available

Joe Buttweiler CTC spoke on the proposed CTC project status


CTC is a Coop that is owned by the customers based in Brainerd MN CTC has leveraged NESC Middle Mile Fiber in areas of expansion An approximate 6-to-8-year buildout for the project

Currently 1,300 plus properties included in the proposal, no island service at this time Cost upwards of $6.3 million projected

Presented different scenarios of possible funding including development by Township and lease back operations and maintenance by CTC until lease pays for cost with CTC getting Right of refusal for a potential sale

ARDOF winning auction process by LTD Broadband is creating funding issues in Greenwood Area Currently FCC is reviewing the auction process and ability of LTD to supply the necessary infrastructure to serve the area

Round 2 of auction process yet to be initiated

Star link is a possibility however downplayed by Joe B

Fixed wireless needs line of sight towers and history shows customers cancel service after initial connection due to  interruptions in service and with the nature of the topography in NE MN it  is not cost feasible

Federal Gov has $65 Billion in place for funding

Supply chain delays puts material 30 to 50 weeks after order for delivery Joe also expressed the importance of the studies

Link info at end of minutes

Whitney Ridlon IRRRB spoke on available partnership with the agency

2022 there is $2Million total funding in the agency service area for Broadband

Project accepting IRRRB funding need to have prevailing wages for the whole project that at times eliminates the funding received

Grant directly to CTC for the project in amounts of $750,000 or 25% of total project cost could be available in a competitive grant application

The IRRRB works in partnership and could provide funding in phased increments ST Louis county is funding a study

Steve Gorgi RAMS spoke on current studies in place

Current FCC maps are being challenged as to determinations of unserved or underserved status due to the inaccurate speed tests conducted coverage is not as great as the maps indicate

There is a rural MN Broadband Coalition Speed test in place and recommended all parties conduct as many tests in there area as possible

St Louis County has $57 Million untagged dollars from the Federal Government Partners for the township could be IRRRB County and Local aid

Completing the survey and speed  test is very important and will determine the interest in development and availability of funding

Studies have shown installation of fiber to home increases property values by 7%

ht t ps:/ / mnruralb roadbandcoa lition.com  go to the speed test

htt ps:/ / ww w.goctc.com/ greenw ood/    and enter your address

Public asked several questions of the panel members Meeting adjourned @ 7:53

Submitted by:

Mike Ralston – Board Chair