North Dakota is being kept up to speed quite literally, with the help of Midcontinent Communications Gigabit Frontier Initiative. In a press release on Monday, November 17, Midcontinent announced that they will be bringing gigabit Internet access to homes and businesses in hundreds of communities in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota. GigabitFrontierLogo_F

This Initiative means gigabit speeds will be available to approximately 600,000 homes and 55,000 businesses along a high-capacity fiber network that covers more than 7,600 miles.

It’s a timely announcement, with the average use of the Internet ever on the rise. A video by Midcontinent about the new initiative begins with a series of mind-boggling statistics:

1 in 5 people on earth have a smartphone or tablet.

100 hrs amount of video is uploaded to YouTube every 60 seconds.

1 billion hours are spent monthly watching Netflix online.

1.4 million telehealth visits were performed by the Veterans Affairs (VA) this year.

15 billion Internet connected devices by 2015.

smart-phoneBillions. To spell that out, that’s 15,000,000,000 devices all using the Internet. And that’s expected to hit 50 billion by 2020.

It’s big – and it’s only going to get bigger. Richard Naser, Executive Director of SD Technology Business Center, is spot-on when he says in the video,

“The Internet, I believe, has evolved from a nice-to-have to a must-have.”

And if we’re going to be using it, why not make it fast?

This past June, Midcontinent Communications doubled speeds for customers, increasing download speeds to 200 megabits per second (Mbps). In September, it was hailed by as the fastest Internet service provider in the nation.

But the speeds continue to increase. When the Gigagbit Frontier Initiative is finished, the press release states, the top speeds available will be five times faster than its current best and 35 times faster than the average high-speed Internet access speed in America.

According to Mark Lawson, IT Project Coordinator at Marco, having quality high-speed Internet is a huge asset to any state, and should be implemented nationwide.

“States without high-speed Internet will not have access to newer forms of resources; resources that are very bandwidth-intensive,” he said.

“Broadband cannot be left out of the state of North Dakota just for the fact that it would put them behind every other state.”

Thanks to the Gigabit Frontier Initiative, North Dakota definitely won’t be lagging behind when it comes to Internet speeds.  Midcontinent joins 702 Communications in being among the first Internet service providers to offer gigabit speeds to residential customers in North Dakota.

Work on the Midcontinent Gigabit Frontier Initiative begins in 2015, according to the press release. The first cities with access to gigabit service are expected to be the metro areas of Fargo, Bismarck, and Grand Forks in North Dakota, along with Sioux Falls and Rapid City in South Dakota.

For more information on services and pricing, visit the Midcontinent Communications website here.

Posted in

Marisa Jackels