Arvig to upgrade fiber network in Perham, Minn., and surrounding areas

The companys says it will enhance its fiber network starting in the spring.

Arvig fiber upgrade
Arvig continues to upgrade and expands it fiber and gig networks. This image was taken near Pelican Rapids, Minn., during a previous fiber construction project in 2019.
Image: Courtesy of Arvig

Arvig says it will invest more than $7 million to upgrade its fiber network that serves the city of Perham, Minn., and surrounding rural areas.

The effort will expand the company’s fiber network, but also make it capable of internet speeds of up to 10G per second, which seems to be the going trend.

This past summer Midco said that it too would enhance its fiber offerings in the Dakotas.

Arvig’s expanded network will allow more fiber-to-home connections and be a boon for area businesses.

“Arvig is proud to be investing in a faster and more reliable network in the Perham area,” David Arvig, vice president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. “With network demands increasing rapidly, it’s more important than ever to provide these next generation speeds right here at home.”


Some of the total $7.4 million project budget – about $4.8 million – includes federal funding awarded to Arvig from the FCC’s Alternative Connect America Cost Model (ACAM) program. Arvig’s directive for ACAM funding is to bring faster internet speeds to rural areas in the company’s service region. The current project will move Arvig closer to that goal.

Lisa Green, the company’s director of marketing, told Prairie Business that Arvig has been working on ACAM-related buildouts for the past several years, and has completed work in the rural Minnesota areas of Ada, Audubon, Bigfork, Cormorant Township, Echo, Eden Valley, Falls Junction, Frazee, Gary, Glyndon and Nevis.

The forthcoming expansion project in Perham also includes adding mainline fiberoptics and constructing drops (located on the subscriber’s end to connect the distribution cable) to customer homes, Green said.

With the new work model that many businesses have adopted since the start of the pandemic by allowing employees to work remotely, Green said now is the right time to upgrade. It was certainly one of the deciding factors.

Currently, Arvig offers up to 1 gigabit to customers, but the new network the company is constructing for 10 gigabits per second will help meet the demands of the area’s business needs today and tomorrow.

“Yes,” Green said, “10G is the new trend. We're all building for the future and making sure we have the infrastructure in place to provide the best possible service we can to our customers.”

But she’s noticed something else happening in the industry: “Another big trend is WiFi management and WiFi Security,” which, she said, are “becoming more and more important. “With all of the new devices people are adding to their homes, it's like inviting a stranger to move in, if you don't have the proper WiFi network and device security in place.”

Construction on the expanded fiber network will begin in spring 2022 as weather and working conditions allow. The project is slated to be completed in late 2022.


“I am looking forward to next spring when Arvig can start the process of upgrading internet service to our many loyal customers in Perham and providing service to those in the area who had previously been underserved,” David Arvig said.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA
Andrew Weeks is an award-winning journalist who has reported for a number of newspapers and magazines. He currently is the editor of Prairie Business, the premier business magazine of the northern plains. The magazine covers various industries and business topics in the Dakotas and western Minnesota.
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