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Ultra-speedy Internet coming to town

A new purchase could provide new life for a long stalled plan to bring fiber optic Internet and cable connections to Rosemount residents and make the city the first in the metro area with ultra-high-speed gigabit Internet service.

On June 21, Golden Valley-based Velocity Telephone Inc. finalized its purchase of FTTH Communications, a cable television and Internet provider that launched with the construction of the Evermoor neighborhood but in recent years had trouble meeting the expansion schedule set out in its franchise agreement with the city.

Velocity president Jim Hickle said his company has been trying for three years to buy FTTH. Velocity will launch a new company, called Gigabit Minnesota, to run the operation in Rosemount.

The goal is to bring gigabit Internet service — with 1,000 megabit-per-second download speeds — to all of Rosemount. That would make Rosemount the first gigabit city in the metro area.

Hickle, a Rosemount resident, said Internet bandwidth is becoming increasingly important as people get connected in more and more ways.

“People are watching things on TV and answering things on their tablet,” he said. “Fiber is the only thing out there that doesn’t have a physical limitation for how fast it can go.”

The high-speed service should be available early next year to FTTH’s current customer base in Evermoor and a handful of other neighborhoods.

Gigabit service will also be available in the two senior apartment complexes currently being built along Highway 3, and at the Rosemount Steeple Center.

Hickle hopes to expand the service from there in both existing and developing neighborhoods, though there is no firm timeline in place. There is also no price set yet for the high speed service.

Velocity has offered Internet services since 1997 and has offered fiber-based services to Twin City businesses since 2009.

Rosemount mayor Bill Droste said he’s happy to see the purchase and the potential for high-speed connectivity in the city.

“Becoming a gigabit fiber city is a real selling point for Rosemount,” Droste said. “Velocity Telephone bringing Gigabit Minnesota to Rosemount will bring local ownership to a franchise that has struggled in the past and is committed to the growth and future of Rosemount.”

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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