GAYLORD — The Sibley County Board has put off action on going forward with a fiber optic broadband project for Sibley and Renville counties.
Commissioners Oct. 9 will revisit discussion regarding bonding for the $70 million citizens group project that would upgrade and speed up Internet services in rural areas.
Commissioners said they want more information on the legal and financial particulars of the RS Fiber venture, a grass-roots effort that began nearly two years ago.
Its joint powers board has come to involve nearly a dozen city councils and the two county boards. The city of Arlington dropped out earlier this year, citing concerns about the financial viability of the project.
Sibley County Economic Development Authority Director and project backer Tim Dolan has said cash-flow projections show a 30-year probability of profit.
Bonding costs for the project would be repaid with revenues from user fees.
The Sibley County Board in April voted in favor of joining the venture, which also would improve telephone and telephone services in underserved areas of the counties.
Project backers have maintained that improved broadband availability would allow farmers and others with agricultural interests to take better advantage of swifter electronic media services.
They say schools also would benefit because students in rural areas would be better served with improved Internet service in their homes.