Winthrop, MN

Mayor Kelly Pierson

Total Population: 1,385
Population Density: 1,305 (people/sq.mi.)
Land Mass: 1.05 (sq.mi.)…

“Broadband has become an essential utility for everyone in today’s world, but is even more important in rural America where we suffer from slower speeds and the lack of network upgrades by our incumbent phone and cable providers.”

“Next Century Cities provided Winthrop an important voice in the discussion on the development of next generation networks. It is important for us to be part of that discussion and serve as an example of how smaller rural communities can act as a technology catalyst for their residents and businesses.”

“Winthrop is served by the RS Fiber Cooperative. The 10 cities involved in the project provided an $8.5 million loan to the RS Fiber Cooperative to construct a fiber to the home network in each town as well as wireless service to the surrounding area. Our active Ethernet network is managed and operated by Hiawatha Broadband Communications in Winona, MN and provides symmetrical gigabit connections to city residents for just $70 a month, along with video, voice and home and farm monitoring services. We also offer 50/25 meg service to ag producers in our 1,000 square mile footprint from towers connected to the fiber backbone.

In phase two of the project we will extend the fiber network to all the farms in the area. The fiber network has spurred a collaboration with the University of Minnesota Extension Service to provide STEM curriculum to area 4-H clubs and area public and private schools as well as digital literacy and inclusion classes to residents. In addition, the fiber network has attracted a developer who will begin construction of a four year osteopathic medical school in Gaylord this fall.”