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Paul Bunyan Communications CEO Gary Johnson (lower right corner) was named as one of the Twin Cities Business Magazine's (TCB) 100 People to Know.Paul Bunyan Communications CEO Gary Johnson Named Twin Cities Business 100 People to Know

Paul Bunyan Communications CEO Gary Johnson has been named as one of the Twin Cities Business Magazine's (TCB) 100 People to Know.

Twin Cities Business Magazine annually highlights 100 Minnesotans, leaders with insight, experience, and savvy that people in business need to observe, seek out, and learn from in the year ahead. The goal is to identify the key individuals that are expected to make an impact on local business, regional economy, and quality of life in 2017.

Johnson was included in the Pioneers category in recognition of Paul Bunyan Communications' innovation, growth, and continued deployment of the latest in communication technologies including construction of one of the largest rural all-fiber optic networks in the United States.

"On behalf of our entire amazing team at Paul Bunyan Communications, I am honored to be named one of TCB's 100 People to Know. It is their hard work, talent, and dedication that has empowered our cooperative to be a pioneer in the telecommunications industry. We're proof that when you combine a commitment to rural service, a laser-like focus on communications technologies, and the courage to imagine and pursue what's next, there is very little that is not possible. As a cooperative we feel very strongly about investing in our communities so they have access to the most robust, advanced communication services available. It is critical for education, economic development, and quality of life. This is a great honor and reinforces just how cutting edge and important our efforts are" said Johnson.

"As we learned more about Paul Bunyan Communications in the People to Know selection process, it was amazing to see the incredible amount of forward thinking the cooperative has shown over the past 20 years, time and again leading the way in providing the very latest in technology to its members. To talk with Gary and see one of the largest rural all-fiber optic Gigabit networks being rolled out so rapidly in northern Minnesota is inspiring. By highlighting his leadership and the GigaZone initiative hopefully it will lead to similar projects throughout rural Minnesota." said Dale Kurschner, Twin Cities Business Magazine Editor in Chief.

"I congratulate Gary and the entire PBC team!" said Dave Hengel, Executive Director of Greater Bemidji, "Gary's leadership and Paul Bunyan Communication's commitment to our region in many ways has encouraged the greater Bemidji region to think big, be bold and ask the question, 'why not in Bemidji? As I watch our community grow and develop into a vibrant regional center, I can see the fingerprints of Gary's vision and leadership all over our community. It is only fitting for Gary to be named on of TCB's 100 People to Know because of his leadership and what Paul Bunyan is doing for our region."

Play the 2nd Annual Paul Bunyan Communications Pick It Bowl Challenge. Sign Up Today!Play the 2nd Annual Paul Bunyan Communications Pick It Bowl Challenge. Sign Up Today!

Paul Bunyan Communications is excited to announce the 2nd annual Pick-it Bowl Challenge, a free online contest for participants to pick the winners for the 2016-17 College Bowl games for a chance to win a credit on a Paul Bunyan Communications account.

The top 10 finishers will win a credit on their Paul Bunyan Communications account. First place winner will receive a $500 credit, second place is a $250 credit.

The first official College Bowl game this year is December 17 so sign up early to confirm registration and picks. No purchase necessary.

The Pick-it Bowl Challenge is a fun and free way to interact with others in northern Minnesota and enjoy a little friendly competition. Must be 18 years of age or older. Limit one entry per person. Prizes not redeemable for cash. Void where prohibited. Some restrictions may apply. See Pick It Bowl Challenge website for complete contest rules.

GigaZone: Gigabit Fiber Network from Paul Bunyan CommunicationThe GigaZone Comes to Becida, Laporte, Solway and more areas of Bemidji

For the first time, the GigaZone has come to Laporte, Becida, and Solway along with additional areas of Bemidji. As a result of continued upgrades to the cooperative's all-fiber optic network over 3,100 more locations now have access to GigaZone services including Internet speeds up to a Gigabit per second.

GigaZone: Gigabit Fiber Network from Paul Bunyan Communication"We continue to make great progress on upgrading our network to incorporate even more members into the GigaZone and over the next several months we'll be activating the GigaZone in even more areas. I'm very proud of all the hard work our cooperative has put in so far as we put our membership and region at the forefront of the very latest in communication networks. We will continue to do as much as we can to bring the GigaZone to all our members and the communities we serve as fast as we can." said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.

The GigaZone is currently available to over 27,000 locations, making it one of the largest rural all-fiber optic networks in the United States! Check out our online map showing the current areas of the GigaZone as well as those that will be constructed/upgraded in the future.

GigaZone service options include unprecedented Broadband Internet speeds of up to 1000 Mbps – a Gigabit. Members who subscribe to GigaZone Broadband can also add PBTV Fusion and/or low cost unlimited long distance service. All current service options also remain available to cooperative members within the GigaZone.

Most current wireless routers cannot support blazing GigaZone Internet speeds. To help, the cooperative is offering GigaZone Integrated Wi-Fi that uses the latest in advanced Wi-Fi technologies to maximize the in-home wireless experience. This service is free to all new GigaZone customers for the first six months, with a minimal charge thereafter.

GigaZone Gaming ChampionshipProFreakz of Deer River Win GigaZone Gaming Championship

The first stadium style eSports event in the region, the GigaZone Gaming Championship was held Saturday, November 12 at the Sanford Center George W. Neilson Convention Center.

26 of northern Minnesota's best League of Legends teams competed online with the top eight teams making it to the Championship rounds in the GigaZone Championship Arena.

GigaZone Gaming Champs, ProFreakz. Summoners: Isaac Rasmusson (Isske), Joshua O'Shea (oO Salsa Oo), Iain Belgarde (Pfkz Belgardex), Cody Mattews (PineapplesX) and Alyis Grauman (Tuckerz).GigaZone Gaming Championship League of Legends

Tournament Winners

  • Street Fighter 5: Anthony Belgarve
  • Mario Kart: Brad Monson
  • Donkey Kong: Adam - 71,000 points
  • Pac Man: Sabbastian - 38,000 points

Ben Francisco of Laporte won the grand prize drawing for an Oculus RiftOculus Rift Drawing Winner

  • Ben Francisco of Laporte won the grand prize drawing for an Oculus Rift – the incredibly immersive virtual reality (VR) headset.

Many participated in open gaming of Move or Die, Street Fighter 5, Mario Kart 8, Donkey Kong, and Pac Man and both of the Magic the Gathering Booster Tournaments were full.

"There is a large gaming community in our area and GigaZone Gaming Championship not only showcased some of the region's best League of Legends teams but it gave everyone a chance to get in on the action! It was great to see so many people of all ages gaming and have so much fun." said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.

"Our cooperative continues to expand one of the largest rural fiber gigabit networks in the country and that brings many advantages to our members. The GigaZone provides extreme speed and low latency which are critical for the best online gaming experience which the GigaZone Gaming Championship showcased," added Leo Anderson, Paul Bunyan Communications Digital Services Supervisor.

"It was a great chance for people to come together, have fun, and experience the growing eSports phenomenon. We plan to do this again in 2017 and it will be even bigger and better!" added Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.

PBTV HDION-TV has been added in High Definition

ION-TV is available to all PBTV digital subscribers in SD on channel 41 and now in HD on channel 541.

ION-TVION Television is a general entertainment network that features a "Positively Entertaining" schedule of proven, award-winning programs, quality original series and popular holiday movies.

Paul Bunyan CommunicationsPaul Bunyan Communications Holiday Office Closures

Saturday, December 24

Offices will be closed in observation of Christmas holiday

Monday, December 26

Offices will be closed in observation of Christmas holiday

Saturday, December 31

Offices will be closed in observation of New Year's holiday

Monday, January 2

Offices will be closed in observation of New Year's holiday

Emergency 24 hour repair will remain available and can be reached at 1-800-475-8309.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Paul Bunyan Communications!