RS Fiber

To the members and Board of Directors of RS Fiber and their supporting communities for their unwavering commitment, courage and innovative approach that launched a new broadband cooperative providing fiber optic connectivity to residents in 10 communities and robust wireless services to farms and rural residents across multiple counties resulting in more competitive enterprises and new community development opportunities.

Today, with a vision of “Enriching the Lives of our Rural Communities,” RS Fiber is a community-owned, community-driven network bringing high-speed, low-cost broadband services to more than 2,200 customers in Renville, Sibley, McLeod and Nicollet Counties … and still growing.

RS Fiber received the League of Minnesota Cities’ “City of Excellence Award” in 2016 for their collaboration in working to bring high-speed broadband Internet to their communities. The winning award entry stated: “The cities developed grassroots support for the project by hosting more than 150 meetings and by personally contacting hundred of residents, local businesses, and government officials.”

Throughout the long and arduous process of creating RS Fiber, the leaders have remained steadfast in their commitment to build a fiber network to every farm and home; with no one left behind.

Dave Rieke, early broadband champion

Why is it important that rural Minnesotans have broadband access?

Broadband access in rural Minnesota is the lifeline to the world. Most importantly is education for all rural people whom otherwise are cut off from a rapidly changing world where we all need to be connected. Healthcare is moving in the direction in which a good broadband connection is vital. The information needs for agriculture production keeps requiring quality internet.

What do you see as your biggest broadband victory?

Being part of many that joined together 27 governmental entities to work in harmony with this common goal in mind. Without this victory, RS Fiber would not have happened.

What role did local leadership play in your accomplishments?

Local leadership was the very essence of this project. Leaders become the vehicle that carries the visions to those who are impacted for the common good for now and the future.

What words of encouragement would you give to community leaders working to improve broadband access?

To those community leaders that are working to improve broadband access, I refer to an old African saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ Regarding broadband projects, it takes a vast consortium working together which can be challenging, however with patience and perseverance, goals can be met.

 

Dave Trebelhorn, RS Fiber board member

Why is it important that rural Minnesotans have broadband access?

Agriculture and Ag-related businesses in rural America need good high-speed broadband so they can compete in the global marketplace.

What do you see as your biggest broadband victory?

We achieved our goal in bringing good high-speed broadband to our area.

What role did local leadership play in your accomplishments?

Together with our local grassroots governmental entities we were able to unite and form a Joint Powers Board, which enabled us to be a stronger entity.

What words of encouragement would you give to community leaders working to improve broadband access?

Make sure you have exhausted all your resources before you give up.