by Dennis Dalman
Doug Vagle and his family, who live in Brockway Township near St. Stephen, feel happily reconnected again.
Doug is the lead pastor of The Waters Church in Sartell.
They now have access to state-of-the-art broadband service, along with many other families who feel suddenly updated.
Doug and Peggy and their three children (Abby, Nat, Sophia) lived for 13 years in “The Wilds” neighborhood of Sartell, but in August of last year, they moved into a house on Pine Point Road in Brockway Township.
It was like taking a huge step backward – especially for school work, Doug said, because in Sartell they had begun to take for granted broadband access. In Brockway Township, they quickly learned what they were missing. Like many rural or remote areas of the country, the township was lacking in high-speed broadband service. The Vagles, for example, went from more than 200 megabytes in Sartell to only 10 or so in the township.
That all changed recently when Spectrum Internet installed an advanced broadband network to more than 70 homes along Pine Point Road just east of St. Stephen.
“It’s awesome, and we’re so thankful it (the broadband network) has got us up into the current digital age so we can be more effective and at a higher speed,” Doug said, adding it is so much easier to be connected with anything and everything and everybody.
In an interview with the Newsleader, Kimberly Noetzel, explained how the service was extended. Noetzel is the senior manager of communication for Spectrum Internet/Charter Communications, the Waite Park office.
The expansion project cost about $200,000 with $67,000 contributed from residents in that area of Brockway Township. Spectrum (a brand name for Charter) spent $125,000.
In early October, the wiring and connections were completed, and Spectrum Internet and a wide array of digital options became available to the township residents along Pine Point Road.
There are no modem fees, data caps or contracts for the service, which features download speeds of from 200 to 600 Mbps for residents and businesses.
Among the options made possible by Spectrum are 200 high-definition TV channels, an interactive network offering access to 85,000 movies and shows and a plethora of streaming options on many platform apps.
“We are continually extending our services as much as possible,” Noetzel said. “We (Charter Communications) now serves 160 communities throughout Minnesota.”
Charter now has 31 million customers in 41 states.