Prinsburg Broadband Project

Sarah VanDyken is the City Administrator in Prinsburg, a city in southwest Kandiyohi County with about 500 people. Here you can find the Central Minnesota Community Christian School, the Farmers Co-Op, the headquarters of Prinsco, a water solutions company, and Duininck Inc., a third-generation construction company.

In 2022 a life-changing event happened — fast, reliable internet was brought to Prinsburg. When asked what the service was like before, the answer was a laugh, A variety of different options were tried, including satellite dishes on the town water tower, an okay solution if your home or business had no obstructions between it and the tower. “During COVID, it was hard,” said VanDyken, “My husband and I would be trying to do Zoom calls, and our children were doing telelearning; it was slow and frustrating.”

Prinsburg, MN representatives cut the ribbon for broadband project

The project cost around $1 million and was partly funded by American Rescue Plan Act funds: $45,000 from Prinsburg and another $330,000 from Kandiyohi County. The city also bonded $175,000. The provider, Arvig, funded the remainder.

Challenges included the overall coordination of a program this size, as well getting community members on board to sign up for connection. “I probably worked with at least 10 elders in the community to help them get signed up.” Said VanDyken. For those not familiar with the technology and the impact it can have in their communities. “Once they had access, though, these people found out all they could do. They are able to attend church services, even funerals, and that is really important to them.” VanDyken added.

Mindy Grannes, Operations Manager, and Mulder Trucking Co. in Prinsburg, said “The biggest challenge was frequent disconnection, then poor customer service support, it was really frustrating to be paying for something and not getting the service.” Internet reliability is no longer a stressor for them.

Kandiyohi County Economic Development supported the project…..the life-changing effects of 8 miles of broadband fiber in the ground is immeasurable in the effects it has had in people’s lives in this small, but vibrant community.

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