Midco continues to connect fiberoptic lines in Barnes, Stutsman counties
The first phase of Midcontinent Communications' three-year project was to get hard fiber to Jamestown.
JAMESTOWN — Midcontinent Communications is continuing to connect fiberoptic lines in Barnes and Stutsman counties and more residences are expected to be able to use its services.
When the project is complete, 9,800 lots — including single-family homes, multi-family units and vacant lots — in the Jamestown area will have the option to use Midco’s services.
“That does go north along (both sides of) the (Jamestown) reservoir,” said Cole Mack, vice president of field engineering and construction for Midco.
The first phase of Midco’s three-year project was to get hard fiber to Jamestown, he said.
“We were north of the community a ways in Stutsman County so we interconnected that to Spiritwood,” Mack said. “This year we will continue to go across Barnes County to connect up to Valley City, which is where our other fiber network comes from, coming from Fargo essentially. Jamestown will have a path going east to Fargo and then actually goes north out of Jamestown and wraps up into central North Dakota, so we will have diversity going both ways on our network from a Jamestown perspective.”
Midco was granted a franchise agreement in 2021 with the city of Jamestown to construct, maintain and operate a telecommunication system for use in the city. Midco offers internet services, home phone and a variety of cable and streaming options.
Mack said Midco’s construction team, Rhino Contracting Inc., is working in the northeast areas of Jamestown and going southwest. He said some apartment buildings around the University of Jamestown already have the option to use Midco’s services.
“In addition, we will have the residential services, but we will also have crews focusing on getting backbone fiber installed across town, so that would be targeting obviously going from the northeast part of town down to the business corridor,” he said.
Residents will receive multiple forms of communication — including mail and door tags — when Midco’s project is going through their area.
“Then, it’s kind of an assembly line,” Mack said. “Crews come in, they build it, we come behind it and then there’s going to be crews that will do all the splicing. They have to take all the fiber that was put in the ground and get it all activated.”
Midco has an operations center located at 802 13th St. NE in Jamestown.
“It’s not a customer service center where customers walk in, but we do have obviously an operations center there and that tends to end up being a … supporting piece of it so we find a way to help customers,” he said.
Midco also purchased property near Jamestown Regional Airport that feeds all of the communication signals to Jamestown and houses its equipment.
Mack said Midco has great customer service and support to help people navigate how to use its products.
“We are as selective even down to when you want us to be at your house,” he said. “You have the ability to schedule within a 15-minute time slot, and we are on time over 95% of that time frame.”
Midco moved into providing fiber to the premises a few years ago and now can offer a full suite of internet services.
“I think the biggest thing we offer obviously the latest, greatest in up to 5 gig symmetrical internet so that’s 5 gigabit by 5 gigabit and really our driver behind this is that this construction method, this new network, it’s all fiber and it should last generationally for as long as we need,” Mack said. “The benefit of fiber is you can just upgrade equipment so the intent is we are able to help build a network in communities that will be there for hopefully generations and it won’t need to be interrupted again.”
Midco also offers a variety of high-speed internet plans.
“We have options … that is on the higher end of gig but we also know that lots of folks don’t need a gigabit service,” he said. “We have all the way down to a basic limited lifeline product that is still very useful … that will give you whatever you need to be able to manage and be cost effective still.”
He said Midco offers a variety of packages for cable and streaming services. He said many people have dropped cable services in the past few years so fully wireless Midco TV packages have been added.
“Our Midco TV package is an IP-based solution which provides roughly the same forum used,” he said. “It gives you that ability to have a guide, all of your high-definition channels but it also gives you the ability to interact with that streaming world where you can download apps to that box specific to you.” He said streaming applications such as Amazon Prime, Paramount, Netflix and Apple TV can all be interconnected on one device.
Midco also offers home phone services.
Midco’s website also has a landing page at https://bit.ly/3o9kfjQ that covers the project in Jamestown. Mack said the landing page also gives potential customers an opportunity to preregister for services.