Mankato Free Press: Blue Earth County faces tough broadband costs

EXCERPT: “If Blue Earth County wants to have rural broadband internet, it’s going to have to pay a potentially unworkable amount of money . . . That’s what consultants recently found in a broadband feasibility study, which they presented to the Blue Earth County Board Tuesday…According to the study, it could cost more than $35 million to install 1,067 miles of fiber to connect all rural areas of Blue Earth County, excluding the Mankato area and larger cities such as Lake Crystal and Madison Lake. A combination of wireless networks and fiber, about 161 miles in total, would cost about $11 million to install…Consultants at Finley Engineering and CCG Consulting say internet service providers are far more likely to favor the hybrid wi-fi/fiber approach just based on cost alone. An all-fiber network that could offer internet speeds of at least 100 mbps downloading and 25 mbps uploading likely wouldn’t break even after customers are hooked up and paying for services.” FULL STORY: