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Paul Bunyan Communications expands “GigaZone” to Park Rapids area

BEMIDJI -- Paul Bunyan Communications announced Monday it has expanded its “GigaZone” Internet service to the Park Rapids area.

The company has upgraded its communications network in Hubbard County and the Park Rapids area for the past three years, officials said in a press release, allowing for the expansion of faster Internet services to more than 2,700 locations. More expansion is planned for the area this summer. The company already offers the service in the Bemidji area.

The “GigaZone” refers to Paul Bunyan Communications’ initiative to provide broadband Internet speeds of up to 1,000 Mpbs -- or a gigabit.

“The GigaZone provides Internet capabilities unsurpassed by any other rural provider or region in the country. The GigaZone not only provides the capacity to handle current communication technologies quickly and efficiently, it also meets the increasing demands of the next generation of broadband innovations,” said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/general manager, in a press release.

Most current wireless routers cannot support blazing GigaZone Internet speeds, the company said, so the cooperative is offering GigaZone Integrated Wi-Fi that uses the latest in Wi-Fi technologies. The service is free to all new GigaZone customers for the first six months.

The company said GigaZone services are expected to be made available in April in Lake George. Additional GigaZone upgrades in 2015 are also expected. Ultimately the GigaZone will encompass the cooperative’s entire 5,000 square mile service area, officials said in the release.

In addition to the GigaZone activation, the cooperative has announced it will be expanding its network to over 1,000 more locations in the Park Rapids area with construction starting this summer.