We've been tracking a fiber broadband project in Sibley and Renville Counties in southwestern Minnesota, interesting because it would be publicly owned and bring high-speed Internet to farms in the area. Now, the RS Fiber project has reached its do-or-die moment where the communities involved need to vote yes or no on whether to sell around $69 million in revenue bonds to build the network.
So far, there have been four votes. Three communities--Buffalo Lake, Winthrop and Renville County--have voted yes. The city of Arlington has voted no. Sibley County commissioners were supposed to vote yesterday, but instead opted to postpone a decision. Sibley County is the entity that would bring farms into the customer base. A no vote wouldn't kill the project, said Mark Erickson, Winthrop city administrator and project champion, but it would make it more city-based.
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