High-speed internet coming to rural Minnesota and Iowa

(ABC 6 News) – With everything online nowadays, it is important to have high-speed internet to be able to get things done effectively and quickly. Now, broadband internet is finally coming to local farmers in southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa.

In the fall of 2020, Harmony Telephone Company was awarded a grant loan of $9.7 million to bring high-speed internet to rural communities in Howard and Chickasaw counties. the following year, MiBroadband was awarded more than $1 million to bring the same thing to rural Fillmore county. Now, construction has finally begun.

Jill Huffman is the CEO of both companies that received grants. She shares the importance of the construction taking place. “In the agricultural world the technological advancements continue but, many of those advancements require access to broadband to use them.”

These advancements include finding manuals, checking ag markets, selling crops, and even getting paid. Dean Nierling, the vice president of the board for both MiBroadband and Harmony Telephone Company is also a farmer. He says high-speed internet is a necessity, especially when it comes to machinery. “All the way from actually running the machinery to making it work in the field, getting repair parts for it, or even machinery replacement. You almost have to go online to find a lot of that stuff.”

There are also plans to build outposts to make the transition to high-speed internet more seamless, even for those who have little to no experience with it.

At this time, there is no timetable on how long this project will take, but crews are expected to work on it as long as the weather cooperates with us.