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Tracy and Mark Haug and their sons Lyrik, 3, left, and Kayden, 7, get a helping hand from Cub Scout Brody Wilander, who carried the family's food Wednesday evening at the annual Paul Bunyan Telephone Cooperative Celebration. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

Paul Bunyan Telephone to return $2.8 million

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Paul Bunyan Telephone Cooperative will return $2.8 million to members, similar to last year, PBT Chief Financial Officer Dave Schultz said Wednesday night at the cooperative's annual meeting.

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"We had another outstanding year," he told members under a tent outside the PBT building.

The cooperative's profit to members will be figured on returning the remainder of 1998 capital credits and 20 percent of 2009 capital credits, he said.

He reported operating margins of $5.38 million for 2009, down from $7.77 million the previous year. Net margins were $5.24 million for 2009 and $6.94 million for 2008.

At the end if 2009, total liabilities and members equity stood at $120.4 million.

General Manager Paul Freude said the cooperative is continuing in its efforts to bring fiber optic cable to homes and businesses, with work set this year for Laporte, Deer River, Sqaw Lake/Inger/Wirt exchanges.

Work in 2011 will see fiber optic brought to Solway, Puposky and Turtle River exchanges. IPTV will be available the following year for both consecution years.

Work last year saw fiber optic brought to Becida, Northome and Kelliher.

The federal government wants to bring Internet access to everyone in the country and the Federal Communications Commission in March issued its National Broadband Plan. While not yet formal, Freude said PBT has already met many of the goals.

"Nationally, 17 percent have access to Internet," he said. "In our service area, more than 30 percent have that access."

A major project last year saw fiber optics cable run underground north through Big Fork and Littlefork to the Ash River Trail area, near Lake Kabetogama. That area now has high-speed access and also is part of a loop to provide a safety backup.

"Most rural areas do not have access to even basic cable television, satellite TV is the only option," Freude said in his annual report. "The plan is in place t have all PBT subscribers gaining access to IPTV services by 2012, making our region one of the first in the nation to accomplish such a feat."

After then annual meeting, thousands of people enjoyed a free walleye dinner, cooked by the Bemidji Fire Department.

Y bswenson@bemidjipioneer.com

Paul Bunyan Telephone Cooperative will return $2.8 million to members, similar to last year, PBT Chief Financial Officer Dave Schultz said Wednesday night at the cooperative's annual meeting.

"We had another outstanding year," he told members under a tent outside the PBT building.

The cooperative's profit to members will be figured on returning the remainder of 1998 capital credits and 20 percent of 2009 capital credits, he said.

He reported operating margins of $5.38 million for 2009, down from $7.77 million the previous year. Net margins were $5.24 million for 2009 and $6.94 million for 2008.

At the end if 2009, total liabilities and members equity stood at $120.4 million.

General Manager Paul Freude said the cooperative is continuing in its efforts to bring fiber optic cable to homes and businesses, with work set this year for Laporte, Deer River, Sqaw Lake/Inger/Wirt exchanges.

Work in 2011 will see fiber optic brought to Solway, Puposky and Turtle River exchanges. IPTV will be available the following year for both consecution years.

Work last year saw fiber optic brought to Becida, Northome and Kelliher.

The federal government wants to bring Internet access to everyone in the country and the Federal Communications Commission in March issued its National Broadband Plan. While not yet formal, Freude said PBT has already met many of the goals.

"Nationally, 17 percent have access to Internet," he said. "In our service area, more than 30 percent have that access."

A major project last year saw fiber optics cable run underground north through Big Fork and Littlefork to the Ash River Trail area, near Lake Kabetogama. That area now has high-speed access and also is part of a loop to provide a safety backup.

"Most rural areas do not have access to even basic cable television, satellite TV is the only option," Freude said in his annual report. "The plan is in place t have all PBT subscribers gaining access to IPTV services by 2012, making our region one of the first in the nation to accomplish such a feat."

After then annual meeting, thousands of people enjoyed a free walleye dinner, cooked by the Bemidji Fire Department.

bswenson@bemidjipioneer.com

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