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News and comments on community broadband networks, the communities deploying them and the technologies that support them. Published by Denise Frey and Al Bonnyman.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2003


Minnesota: "By the bootstraps / Windom enters the telecom business"

"For the first time in more than 80 years, a city in rural Minnesota is starting a municipal telephone company. The City Council in Windom, population 4,500, in southwestern Minnesota voted earlier this month to go into the telecommunications business and give the city's current service provider, Qwest, some much-needed competition."

"Windom's decision is one community's up-by-its-own-bootstraps refusal to let Qwest's footdragging keep it in the digital dark ages. Qwest officials told Windom in 1999 that it was on the verge of bringing DSL high-speed data service to the city, recalled Windom city administrator Dennis Nelson. The telecom giant has yet to make good on its promise. Slow dial-up Internet service is crimping Windom's efforts to attract new businesses and jobs."

This editorial lays out the history of the town's frustrated efforts to get the local Bell to offer high speed access and the town's decision to take matters into its' own hands.


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