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Published April 11, 2012, 06:52 PM

South central North Dakota touts largest fiber optic broadband network in the nation

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A $90 million project is keeping people in North Dakota connected. South central North Dakota has the largest fiber optic broadband network in the nation. Today Jamestown College held a press conference to unveil the project.

A $90 million project is keeping people in North Dakota connected. South central North Dakota has the largest fiber optic broadband network in the nation. Today Jamestown College held a press conference to unveil the project.

Jasper Schneider – US Department of Agriculture: "It allows farmers to get access to real time market information. It allows families and friends to stay connected to their loved ones."

This isn't in the big city. This is in south central North Dakota where thousands of miles of fiber optic cable have been installed underground to provide the fastest internet available.

Keith Larson - Dakota Central Telecommunications: "It can provide video services on it, high speed internet services and also telephone services."

Dakota Central Telecommunications and Dickey Rural Networks embarked on the fiber optic project separately more than five years ago. Today, about 18,000 customers are connected to the network.

Gary Hoffman - Fiber-optic Broadband Customer: "I can work from my farmhouse."

Gary Hoffman is the executive director of the North Dakota Dairy Coalition. The main office is in Mandan, but he can get the job done from his home in rural Ashley, even communicating easily with a couple from Ireland.

Gary Hoffman: "It allows me to send pictures and big files to them because of the broadband and next month they're gonna be in North Dakota, checking out North Dakota as a possible place to build a brand new dairy."

Rick Berg – (R) North Dakota: "We've all the sudden unleashed in your area here the opportunity to compete with anyone worldwide."

The fiber optic network in south central North Dakota covers 10,000 square miles.

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