How is internet speed measured?
Internet speed is measured in bits per second.
1 Kbps (kilobits per second) = 1,000 bits per second.
1 Mbps (megabits per second) = 1 million bits per second.
1 Gbps (gigabits per second) = 1 billion bits per second.
A lowercase "b" in Kbps means bits, while an uppercase "B" means bytes. There are eight bits in a byte.

Example: An internet plan with download speeds of up to 100 Mbps is capable of being more than 1,500 times faster than a 64 Kbps dial-up modem.

Web browsers measure in bytes-per-second.

File download speeds from your web browser are reported in bytes-per-second or kilobytes-per-second (kBps).

The speed of your dial-up ADSL or cable modem is listed in terms of bits-per-second or kilobits-per-second (kbps).

An uppercase "B" in KBps means bytes, while a lowercase "b" means bits. There are eight bits in a byte.

A 100 kBps download is eight times faster than a 100 kbps download.

How much internet speed do I need?
The amount of internet speed you need depends on how you intend to use the internet

The Federal Communications Commission regularly updates guidelines for internet speeds.
Click on the following links to see the FCC recommendations from February 2018:
- Broadband Speed Guide
- Household Broadband Guide

What are the different ways Internet is delivered and what are the approximate costs?

Wireless Broadband
- Maximum of 1.5 Mbps, but expect the speeds to be more like 800 Kbps. Costs are around $40 USD to $50 per month.

Mobile Cellular
- With LTE service, up to 150 Mbps, but more like 75 Mbps. Much less if you are not in an LTE zone. Prices vary wildly.

- Up to 10 Mbps, but expect about half of that. It can cost from $40 to $100 per month.


Dial Up
- Dial-up providers throw the term ’56k’ around a lot. In reality, you can expect 33 kbps on average.
If you can find a dial-up ISP, it will cost you well under $10 per month.

- DSL ISPs promise speeds from 1.5 Mbps to 10 Mbps, however new technology could push it higher.
A more realistic number is about 80-90% of what your ISP advertises. DSL service cost range widely, as the speeds do, from $20 to $120 or more.

Cable (Coaxial Cable)
- Typical Residential service can go up to about 250 Mbps, but most ISPs offer somewhere between 10 Mbps and 120 Mbps.
Cost? From around $10 to $100 per month. New technology is beginning to allow ISPs to offer 1 Gbps.

Fiber Optic
- Upload speeds are often the same as download speeds. Residential service is typically offered up to 1 Gbps, however most services offer 100 Mbps.
You can expect to pay $85 per month and above, as your service speed increases.

Broadband over Power line
- Don’t expect to find this offering.


What are my options for Internet in Scandia?
- Wireless Broadband - AT&T
- Mobile Cellular - AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon
- Satellite - HughesNet

- Dial Up - None
- DSL - Frontier Communications
- Cable (Coaxial Cable) - Midcontinent Communications
- Fiber Optic - None.
- Broadband over Power line - None

What did the imcumbent providers say they were initially willing to do?
Click on the following links for meeting notes from those meetings:
- Frontier
- Frontier CAF II Rollout Communication
- MidCo

Where can I find the 2018 Internet Feasibility Study Results?
Click on the following link to see the Staff Report presented to the Scandia Councils:
- Feasibilility Study Results

Where can I find the 2018 Internet Community Survey Results?
Click on the following links:
- Summary Presentation
- Stories told by Scandia Residents
- Non-MidCo Survey Responders who could potentially get MidCo Service

Where can I find the 2019 Internet RFP, Provider responses, and the Focus Group Recommendation?
Click on the following links:
- 2019 Internet RFP
- Frontier Response
- CTC Response
- MidCo Response Letter
- Focus Group Recommendation

The Scandia Council chose to partner with MidCo on a 2019 DEED Grant Application.
Where can I find out what MidCo is proposing?

Click on the following links:
- MidCo Original Proposal 07-22-2019
- MidCo Revised Proposal 08-16-2019
- MidCo Revised Proposal 08-30-2019
- 2019 Grant Address List from MidCo

You can also see this information displayed on the Interactive Map.

How will broadband expansion be paid for?
We are looking at three funding sources: Grants, Service Provider, and Taxpayers.
1. Grants: We will look into Federal, State, and County Grants
2. Service Provider: We will want the chosen service provider to invest in the project.
3. Taxpayers: Property owners in Scandia will need to fund any amount above grants and provider investments.

Where can I find a summary of the Grants DEED has funded?
Information about MN DEED Grants is published on the their website. Click on the following link:
- Summary of MN DEED Grants by Year and Speed

What is Scandia doing to minimize the impact on all Scandia taxpayers?
Scandia Councilmembers reached out to Senator Housley and Representative Dettmer to sponsor a bill that will help us!
Current State law requires cities to charge every property owner in the city for any spending that might be needed. We are seeking a change to the Subordinate Service District legislation in Minnesota so Scandia has teh ability to pass the cost of any broadband expansion project onto the benefited properties, rather than assessing every property tax payer.
The Scandia City Council has not yet decided what to do, but this would give the City more options than it has today.
- Current Subordinate Service District Legislation

I have heard access to high-speed internet can increase my home value. Is this true?
Yes, it is true. A study published in 2015 shows homes with access to internet that can deliver Gigabit speeds sold for more than similar homes without high-speed internet.
Click on the following link to see the actual report: Study Results Document

Does the City of Scandia have any written agreements in place with Frontier?
Yes, click on the following link to see a copy of our franchise agreement with Frontier: Frontier Franchise Agreement - 10-26-2016

Does the City of Scandia have any written agreements in place with MidCo?
Yes, click on the following link to see a copy of our franchise agreement with MidCo: MidCo Franchise Agreement - 10-25-2013

What does the MidCo Franchise Agreement say about expanding their territory and the associated costs?
Section 2. Paragraph 7.

(a) This Franchise is granted for the Service Area. In the event of annexation by City, or as development occurs, any new territory shall become part of the Service Area, provided, however, that Grantee shall not be required to extend Cable Service beyond its present System boundaries unless there is a density equivalent of six (6) dwelling units per one-quarter cable mile, as measured from the closest technically feasible Tap on the Cable System.

(b) Access to Cable Service shall not be denied to any group of potential residential cable Subscribers because of the income of the residents of the area in which such group resides. Grantee shall complete the installation as soon as possible considering weather conditions (frozen ground). Grantee shall be given twelve (12) months to construct and activate cable plant to service annexed or newly developed areas which meets the line extension criteria established in this section.

(c) Any residential unit located within two hundred (200) feet from the closest technically feasible Tap shall be connected to the Cable System at no charge other than the Standard Installation charge. After Service has been established by activating trunk and/or distribution cables which are within two hundred (200) feet from the closest technically feasible Tap for a requesting Subscriber, Grantee shall provide Cable Service to any requesting Subscriber within that Service Area within thirty (30) days from the date of request, provided that the Grantee is able to secure all rights-of-way necessary to extend Service to such Subscriber within such thirty (30) day period on reasonable terms and conditions.

(d) If a Subscriber requires a non-Standard Installation (e.g. a Drop in excess of two hundred (200) feet), Grantee shall, upon request, provide a quote for construction of the non-Standard Installation and shall establish a mutually acceptable payment schedule not to exceed one (1) calendar year. For residential Installations only, Grantee shall be responsible for all costs of the Standard Installation and the Subscriber shall be responsible for one half (1/2) of the Actual Cost of any construction required beyond the cost of the Standard Installation; Grantee shall be responsible for the balance of the costs for the non-Standard Installation.

(e) Where the density equivalent is less than of six (6) dwelling units per one-quarter cable mile, as measured from the closest technically feasible Tap on the Cable System, the City may request that Grantee provide the City with a free written estimate of the Actual Cost of any required construction. Such written request will be provided to City within thirty (30) days of such request. If the City so elects in its sole discretion, the City and Grantee, on mutually agreeable terms, may agree that Grantee shall complete construction to a specified area where the density is below six (6) dwelling units per one-quarter cable mile so long as the City is willing to be responsible for one half (1/2) of the Actual Cost of any construction. The City and Grantee agree to work cooperatively to share work orders and related written materials necessary to allow verification of the cost sharing set forth in this paragraph.

What does the MidCo Franchise Agreement say about ongoing revenues paid to the City?
Section 6. Paragraph 9.

(a) Within ninety (90) days after the Effective Date, Grantee shall collect One Dollar and 50/100s ($1.50) per Subscriber per month and shall remit said amounts collected to the Commission on a monthly basis to be used solely to support PEG Access in a manner consistent with Applicable Law (“PEG Fee”). Upon the fifth (5th) anniversary of this Franchise, the PEG Fee shall be increased to One Dollar and 65/100s per Subscriber per month. Upon the tenth (10th) anniversary of this Franchise, the PEG Fee shall be increased to One Dollar and 80/100s per Subscriber per month for the remaining term of the Franchise. The Commission need not expend the PEG Fees immediately but rather may place them in a designated account to be used for PEG capital purchases over the term of the Franchise. The Commission shall provide written notice to Grantee at least ninety (90) days prior to each scheduled increase of the PEG Fee.

(b) The PEG Fee shall not be deemed “Franchise Fee” as defined in 47 U.S.C. § 542. The PEG Fee may be categorized, itemized, and passed through to Subscribers as permissible, in accordance with 47 U.S.C. §542 or other Applicable Laws. Grantee shall pay the PEG Fee to the Commission monthly, within thirty (30) days following the end of the each month. Grantee agrees that it will not offset or reduce its payment of past, present or future Franchise Fees required as a result of its obligation to remit the PEG Access support. Any PEG Access support amounts owing pursuant to this Franchise which remain unpaid more than twenty-five (25) days after the date the payment is due shall be delinquent and shall thereafter accrue interest at twelve (12) percent per annum or the prime lending rate published by the Wall Street Journal on the day the payment was due plus two percent (2%), whichever is greater.

(c) In the event the Commission is dissolved and the JPA is no longer in place, the Grantee shall submit the PEG Fee to the City and the City shall assume all responsibilities of this Section 6 or as otherwise agreed upon by City and Grantee.

Section 7. Paragraph 1.

(a) Grantee shall pay to City a Franchise Fee in an annual amount equal to five percent (5%) of its annual Gross Revenues.

(b) Payments due to the City under this provision shall be payable monthly. The payment shall be made within thirty (30) days following the end of the each month, together with a brief report showing the basis for the computation.

(c) Upon thirty (30) days prior written notice, City shall have the right to conduct an independent audit of Grantee’s records for purposes of determining whether Grantee has accurately collected and paid Franchise Fees. If such audit indicates a Franchise Fee underpayment of five percent (5%) or more, the Grantee shall assume all reasonable out-of-pocket costs of such an audit and shall remit to the City all applicable Franchise Fees due and payable together with interest thereon at twelve percent (12%) per annum.

(d) Except as otherwise provided by law, no acceptance of any payment by the City shall be construed as a release or as an accord and satisfaction of any claim the City may have for further or additional sums payable as a Franchise Fee under this Franchise or for the performance of any other obligation of the Grantee.

Do we have any idea of the cost for MidCo to expand their existing wired network to service everyone in Scandia?
Yes. Here is a excerpt from an email I wrote on July 30, 2019 confirming the details of a conversation I just had with Justin Forde, Senior Director of Government Affairs, from MidCo:

...MidCo is willing to extend their current wireline solution to all remaining homes in Scandia and wants to work with us on various grant opportunities to reduce the cost to Scandia Taxpayers.

The total cost to do so is estimated at $6.5M.

MidCo is willing to contribute $1.4M.

MidCo wants to work with Scandia to secure grants to reduce the amount needed from the City ($5.1M), starting with the currently proposed DEED grant.