New rural broadband projects are creating an unexpected benefit for Duluth.
The projects are intended to speed up and increase rural internet connections in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. But three of the projects will connect through Duluth -- increasing Duluth's total fiber communications capacity and creating new redundancies that can help prevent future phone and internet outages.
Duluth benefits by its location said Patrick Garmoe, a marketing strategist for the Two Harbors-based company PureDriven.
"It's a term called redundancy. And the amazing thing about fiber is, if a line gets cut, and you have a redundant line, as these lines will help tie into that, you're not even going to notice it," he said.
Projects approved for federal stimulus broadband money include one linking Brainerd, Fargo, N.D., St. Paul and Duluth. Another links Michigan's Upper Peninsula with Green Bay, Wis. and Duluth. The third will link more than 100 rural communities in northern and northeast Minnesota.