Dead in the water.
That’s the word out of Northfield. They don’t believe they can make the numbers work without stimulus money, at least for now. Like Red Wing, Northfield already has 20 Mbps service through Charter and Qwest DSL. St. Olaf has fiber that has attracted some local businesses within their proximity. There also is a wireless service in Northfield offering 6 Mbps speed.
Northfield has high take rates of internet services compared to Red Wing, higher household income, and lower median age, all factors to consider in adopting municipal fiber. Yet, they are taking a pass. I’ve linked Northfield’s excellent Fiber Feasibility Study for those who wish to drill down into the data.
Down the road, as fiber stimulus dollars flow into the economy, maybe equipment and other costs will begin to drop, making municipal fiber more viable.