City of Red Wing

Fiber Optics

Fiber Optic Initiative


The City of Red Wing has been involved with fiber optic connectivity for the past decade. In the late 1990's, the City
partnered with Goodhue County to interconnect City Hall, County Offices, the Red Wing Library, the Housing and
Redevelopment Authority, the Port Authority, and eventually Red Wing Public Works with fiber optics.

In 2004 the City and the Red Wing School District began discussions on how remote Public Works facilities and neighborhood schools might benefit from a robust fiber optic connection. With the help of a Blandin "Get Broadband" Grant, the City initiated a series of meetings with citizens and community leaders and began to gauge community interest. The City heard from educators, public officials, businesses, health care providers, and homeowners, "we need ultra high-speed broadband, improved connectivity, and service to all areas of the community in order to stay competitive in a global marketplace."

Citizens, business owners, health care professionals, educators, representatives from our senior community, and government officials created a fiber taskforce and met over a two year period to educate themselves and others on how fiber optics will enhance and grow a community. This fiber taskforce then evolved into a grass roots advocacy group called "Fiber Now". Presentations by city staff and the advocacy group to boards, commissions, service clubs, and civic organizations took place. Many local residents had questions about why certain areas of our city remain unserved and if improved services and pricing would soon be available.

 In November of 2008 the Red Wing City Council accepted and approved a Fiber to the Premise Feasibility Study that
researched high level architecture design, legal, financing, marketing, and governance.  The study proved that there are a range of business models that Red Wing could utilize in a city network.

The City of Red Wing City Council adopted a resolution on April 27, 2009 to support the application of Hiawatha
Broadband Communications, Inc., to seek federal grant funding to build a high-speed, fiber-to-the-premises broadband network in Red Wing. The City understood that HBC intended to provide dedicated network capacity interconnecting all governmental facilities and educational facilities in the City.

Although HBC was not successful in securing federal stimulus dollars to build in Red Wing, their Board of Directors made the decision to move ahead with a business plan that would include business service in 2011 and residential service in 2012 in Red Wing.

At that time the city issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for dark fiber optics. This is to connect city facilities located throughout its 42 square miles back to City Hall in order for employees to better access networked resources. 

As part of the franchise negotiations, Hiawatha Broadband Communications will be providing dark fiber optics to every
government facility in 2012.