While the critical importance of reliable, high-speed broadband access has become even more obvious during the pandemic, there are still unserved and underserved areas of the state. To help close that gap, on Jan. 28, the state announced broadband grant awards for 39 projects designed to bring service to more than 6,900 businesses, homes, and community anchor institutions in Minnesota.
This marked the sixth year of grants through the Border-to-Border Broadband Grant Program overseen by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
DEED Commissioner Steve Grove and Broadband Director Angie Dickison joined three grantees at a recent virtual press conference to talk about the program and the difference it makes.
Those 39 state grants – totaling $20,645,425 – are matched by $33,695,279 in local funds, for a total investment in broadband infrastructure of $54,340,704.
“This is very much a partnership of the public and private sectors wanting to get this done,” said Commissioner Grove. “The demand for this program is huge. We are by no means done with this journey. Governor Walz announced an additional $50 million proposal to expand and accelerate this grant program. This has been a major priority of his and we’re eager to work with legislators on it.”
Bevcomm received funding for two projects in their MN exchanges:
A project titled, Rural Faribault County and Martin County Fiber Expansion Phase 2, with funding in the amount of $1,182,818.
This project will serve approximately two unserved households, 203 underserved households, 46 underserved businesses, and 181 underserved farms in portions of Faribault and Martin counties. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Faribault County EDA and Martin County EDA, Bevcomm will provide fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) at speeds of up to 1 Gbps, exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. Broadband access will provide home-based business options, stimulate economic growth, and spark innovation and investment in the project area. The total eligible project cost is $2,957,043.
A project titled, Rural Morristown Fiber Expansion, with funding in the amount of $210,692.
This project will serve approximately 14 unserved and 94 underserved locations in portions of Rice, Waseca, and Steele counties. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota and Rice County Housing & Redevelopment Authority, Bevcomm will provide fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) at speeds of up to 1 Gbps, exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. With access to broadband, education, health care, agriculture, energy efficiency, and public safety will improve within the project area. The total eligible project cost is $526,729.
Grantees Talk About Value of the Program
Garden Valley Technologies received a $1.6 million award for a project in Northwest Thief River Falls and Euclid to provide service to 104 unserved and 22 underserved locations in portions of Marshall and Polk counties. “At 1.3 locations per square mile, it’s tough to build that out and, without grant programs like this, it would be nearly impossible,” said Tim Brinkman, CEO and general manager of Garden Valley Technologies.
Brinkman talked about how an earlier broadband grant the company received enabled them to provide service to a 92-year-old woman who was living alone and to her granddaughter who lived nearby and ran a home-based business. Brinkman said having broadband access helped the granddaughter grow her business and allowed the grandmother to download books on her Kindle – a real quality-of-life issue for someone living alone.
“The family is very, very thankful,” said Brinkman. “So, thank you for the opportunity to continue providing these services to those unserved areas across the state.”
Mediacom Minnesota received two awards – a $624,751 grant to serve 267 underserved homes, six businesses and one community anchor in Hermantown in St. Louis County, and a $19,752 grant to serve 80 unserved households in Minnetrista in Hennepin County.
“We are really excited, we’re honored, we appreciate the responsibility the state of Minnesota, and DEED and the taxpayers have put on us, and we’ll deliver,” said Bill Jensen, group vice president of Mediacom Minnesota.
Bevcomm (Blue Earth Valley Telephone Company, Easton Telephone Company & Cannon Valley Telecom) received two awards in the latest round of grants: a $1,182,818 grant for a project that will provide service to about two unserved households, 203 underserved households, 46 underserved businesses, and 181 underserved farms in portions of Faribault and Martin counties – and a $210,692 grant that will provide service to about 14 unserved and 94 underserved locations in portions of Rice, Waseca, and Steele counties.
Bill Eckles, CEO of BEVCOMM, said they survey people in an area before they move ahead with a project. “From the letters we get, it’s just astounding the need out there,” he said. “I just want to say thank you for the two awards. I’m sure our customers are going to be extremely happy a year from now.”
High Demand for Program
Altogether, for FY21 funding, DEED received 64 separate applications requesting $42 million in funding during the latest grant application round. The grants announced on Jan. 28 bring the number of homes and businesses provided broadband access through the grant program since 2014 to a total of over 56,800.
BLUE EARTH, MN -- Bevcomm, a fourth-generation, family-owned telecom company based in Blue Earth, has revealed its new corporate brand identity, logo, and website. CEO, Bill Eckles, believes that this refreshed look reflects the company’s commitment to remain on the cutting edge of communications technology. “Since Bevcomm was founded in 1895, we’ve been dedicated to providing our customers with innovative technology and reliable service,” Eckles said, “but the telecom industry has evolved over the past 125 years, and so have our services. We decided it was time for our brand to do the same.”
From humble beginnings as a rural telephone service provider, Bevcomm has expanded to provide high-speed broadband and digital television to more than 20,000 homes and businesses across Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.
The first change customers will likely notice is the company’s very name, which has been transformed from BEVCOMM to the lowercase Bevcomm to convey a modern, tech-forward identity. The new logo also features a refreshed font and a minimalist, forward-facing arrow. Amy Schonborn, Customer Service and Marketing Manager, states, “Arrows are a sign of motion, of progress, and that’s what we’re all about: constantly moving forward to provide our customers with the best possible experience.”
Bevcomm’s new brand identity is showcased on their redesigned website, www.bevcomm.net, which features a new easy-to-navigate layout and updated visuals for improved user experience. For more information, please visit www.bevcomm.net.
BLUE EARTH, MN -- The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to spread across the country, prompting thousands of American businesses and schools to move to remote work and online instruction.
Turning online for work and education may cause stress for local families living without high speed broadband in their homes.
To support customers working from home, as well as school staff and students taking part in eLearning programs, BEVCOMM is offering:
(1) A $9.95 broadband connection for eligible low-income families working from home and for students taking part in eLearning programs. Qualifications include: must be a new customer, qualify for Free School Lunch, or the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program. Some restrictions apply.
(2) BEVCOMM will donate $3,000 to each public school district in its serving area to help support the purchase of Wi-Fi hotspots.
(3) BEVCOMM has joined the FCC in the Keep Americans Connected pledge, which will promote connectivity for residents impacted by disruptions during this coronavirus pandemic. Given the scope of this pandemic and its impact on American society, we pledge for the next 60 days to: • Not terminate service to any residential or small business broadband or phone customer because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
• Waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and Due to rising health concerns, the local BEVCOMM offices in Minnesota and Wisconsin will close their doors to the public effective at 8:00am on March 17, 2020. Please know BEVCOMM employees are still here to support you. They offer 24x7x365 Customer Service and Technical Support. Please reach out to them by calling your local BEVCOMM office or toll free at 800-473-1442.
Payments can be made over the phone with a credit or debit card, sent via postal mail, left in our local drop boxes, or paid online at www.bevcomm.net.
BEVCOMM installation and repair technicians spend much of their day in customer homes and businesses. For your safety and the safety of employees BEVCOMM will limit interactions to new broadband and phone installations and service outages. Thankfully, many technical troubles can be resolved remotely without having to send out a technician, however, there are times when they need to go on site to resolve the issue. Depending on the issue, BEVCOMM may ask to delay the resolution until exposure is less likely and requests that you communicate current health status prior to a scheduled appointment.
In addition, it is important to be aware of potential scams that may occur in relation to COVID19. Should you receive emails that look suspicious, please delete them and most importantly avoid clicking on links. It is a good practice to change passwords frequently.
Our nation is experiencing an unprecedented crisis, but no students should have to stop learning or employees stop working due to their internet connection. For more information and to upgrade your broadband subscription please contact us at 1-800-473-1442.
For more information regarding COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
April 30, Blue Earth, MN - BEVCOMM, Blue Earth-based Telecommunication Company, announced today that they have acquired ownership of Lonsdale Telephone Company in Lonsdale, MN.
Existing employees of Lonsdale Telephone Company will become employees of BEVCOMM and will continue to manage the day-to-day office functions.
Both Lonsdale Telephone Company and BEVCOMM are family-owned companies. BEVCOMM Chief Executive Officer Bill Eckles stated, “We are excited about the acquisition of Lonsdale Telephone Company. Lonsdale is geographically located in perfect proximity to our existing New Prague and Morristown exchanges making this a natural fit. We are looking forward to new opportunities which will be possible with the combined resources of both companies. We consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to serve the Lonsdale community.”
Oronoco, MN - March 7, 2019 - BEVCOMM invests in a state-of-the-art fiber optic network that will connect 100% of residential homes and businesses within the City of Oronoco by the end of 2020. Fiber technology will enable residents to access services including ultra-fast internet with speeds up to one Gig down and 500Mb up, for less than $100 per month.
During the construction process beginning this year, BEVCOMM will replace the current network of copper cables with a network of fiber-optic cables which use light instead of electricity to carry a digital data signal. BEVCOMM anticipates having nearly half the town complete and ready for installation by the end of this year. The entire project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. There will be no installation cost to customers as they are converted to the fiber optic network.
“Fiber offers important advantages,” said Bill Eckles, BEVCOMM’s CEO. “At the top of the list is fiber’s ability to provide virtually unlimited bandwidth capacity and internet speed, enabling users to enjoy a better experience with data-intensive applications such as streaming, online gaming, cloud storage, online education, work from home capabilities, and more. Fiber also increases service reliability and stability. We are excited to bring fiber to Oronoco and to expand opportunities for individuals as well as expand economic development in the community as a whole.”
Anyone with questions regarding the upcoming fiber project in Oronoco can call BEVCOMM at 800-473-1442.
January 14, 2019, Blue Earth, MN - Bevcomm, Blue Earth-based Telecommunication Company, announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which they will acquire ownership of Lonsdale Telephone Company in Lonsdale, MN. The transfer of ownership is pending regulatory approval which is expected to be completed in the first half of 2020.
Existing employees of Lonsdale Telephone Company will become employees of Bevcomm, and will continue to manage the day-to-day office functions.
Both Lonsdale Telephone Company and Bevcomm are family-owned companies. Bevcomm Chief Executive Officer Bill Eckles stated, “We are excited about the acquisition of Lonsdale Telephone Company. Lonsdale is geographically located in perfect proximity to our existing New Prague and Morristown exchanges making this a natural fit. We are looking forward to new opportunities which will be possible with the combined resources of both companies. We consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to serve the Lonsdale community.”
(Wells) Ethan Sindelir of Wells has been selected to receive the $2,000 scholarship for the 2018-2019 academic year from the Minnesota Telecom Alliance Foundation, according to, Bill Eckles, President of Bevcomm. Ethan will be graduating from Maple River High School and plans to attend the Gustavus Adolphus College. He is the son of Brett and Cindy Sindelir.
“I have had many positive influences from teachers and coaches that placed me in a position to succeed. I too, want to share the passion of an educator to also inspire students. I plan to accomplish these goals by continuing my education and majoring in Education, said Ethan in his scholarship application.
In awarding the scholarship to Ethan, Eckles said, “We’re happy to have this chance to make an investment in Ethan’s college education. Rural communities need educated and talented young people like Ethan to be our leaders of the future. It makes us all proud at BEVCOMM when one of the statewide winners is selected from our area.”
The Foundation is part of the Minnesota Telecom Alliance, a trade organization based in St. Paul representing over 44 telephone companies and cooperatives in the state.
St Paul, MN - November, 21, 2017 - Lt. Governor Tina Smith and the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) today announced the 2017 Border-to-Border Broadband Grant recipients. The grants total $26 million for 39 broadband infrastructure projects that will provide 9,973 households, 2,169 businesses, and 60 community institutions across Minnesota access to reliable, affordable high-speed internet.
The funding, which was approved during the 2017 legislative sessions, goes to broadband providers and communities to build out wireline and fixed wireless broadband infrastructure to unserved and underserved locations across the state.
“Access to quality, affordable broadband is a tool that levels the playing field for Minnesotans all across the state,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “This funding, and the private investment leveraged from it, will soon allow even more individuals, communities and businesses the opportunity to access the internet at speeds that meet today’s demands.”
Bevcomm has been awarded $545,220 for fiber expansion projects in rural Delavan, Freeborn, and Granada, MN. The projects will allow for faster Internet with download speeds up to a Gigabit. Bevcomm will begin construction in 2018. More specific details follow:
Bevcomm (Easton Telephone Company)
This project will serve 25 households and 30 businesses in the southeastern rural Delavan area. The total eligible project cost is $565,000, with a $344,650 investment from Bevcomm.
Bevcomm (Cannon Valley Telephone)
This project will serve 15 households and 17 businesses in the rural Freeborn area, and completing a build-out started two years ago. The total eligible project cost is $314,000, with a $191,540 investment fromBevcomm.
Bevcomm (Granada Telephone Company)
This project will serve 35 households and 21 businesses in the rural Granada area located in Martin County, completing a build-out started a year ago. The total eligible project cost is $519,000, with a $316,590 investment fromBevcomm.
June 2017 - Bevcomm is pleased to announce that our telephone directory partner for the 2017 issue of the Hager City, New Prague/Lonsdale, Faribault County and Weyerhaeuser phone books is Vivial (Vivial Media LLC). Vivial is currently contacting local businesses to discuss the 2017-2018 advertising program. We are excited and believe that Vivial brings a comprehensive suite of print and digital advertising products to our business owners. See for yourself at www.vivial.net.
Crosslake, MN, May 31, 2016 –The City of Crosslake approved the sale of Crosslake Communications to Tri-Co Technologies (TCT) on Monday, May 23, 2016. TCT is a partnership of three Minnesota-based telecommunications companies; BEVCOMM, headquartered in Blue Earth, MN, West Central Telephone Association (WCTA), headquartered in Sebeka, MN and Emily Cooperative Telephone Company (ECTC), of Emily, MN.
The companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which TCT will acquire Crosslake Communications later this summer pending state and federal approval. All of the existing employees will be hired by partner-company, Emily Cooperative Telephone Company, which will be managing the day to day operations. Josh Netland, General Manager of ECTC and President of TCT commented, “We consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to serve these new communities. The three partners have over 220 years combined history of bringing technology to small rural communities. We consider it to be our responsibility to make sure the communities we serve are never left behind.”
Tri-Co Technologies is a partnership of Minnesota-based BEVCOMM, West Central Telephone Association and Emily Cooperative Telephone Company committed to bringing advanced fiber-to-the-premise technologies to the Crosslake community.
January 11, 2017- Great news for BEVCOMM and many broadband providers in Minnesota!! Lt. Governor Tina Smith and the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) today announced grants totaling $34 million for 42 broadband infrastructure projects that will provide 16,627 households, 2,240 businesses, and 71 community institutions across Minnesota access to reliable, affordable high-speed internet. The new state funding will help level the playing field for households and businesses in Greater Minnesota by providing them access the same opportunities available to urban area residents.
BEVCOMM has been awarded nearly $650,000 for the following expansion projects. Thank you MN Office of Broadband and all who support us!
• Granada Telephone Co. (dba BEVCOMM), South Rural Granada – $157,920. This project will serve 26 unserved households and 14 unserved businesses in the rural Granada area in Martin County. Granada Telephone will provide advanced broadband services to farms and residences in the area. The total eligible project cost is $394,800, with a $236,880 investment from BEVCOMM.
• Blue Earth Valley Telephone Co. (dba BEVCOMM), Rural Winnebago – $152,828. This project will serve 18 unserved households (including farms), 8 unserved businesses, 2 underserved households and three underserved businesses in rural Winnebago in Faribault County. Blue Earth Valley Telephone will improve services that will help livestock and grain farmers in the region. The total eligible project cost is $382,070, with a $229,242 investment from BEVCOMM.
• Cannon Valley Telecom Inc. (dba BEVCOMM), Rural Freeborn – $150,700. This project will serve 10 unserved households, six unserved businesses, nine underserved households and six underserved businesses in the rural Freeborn area in Freeborn County. The Cannon Valley Telecom project will improve access to health care and education. The total eligible project cost is $376,750, with a $226,050 investment from BEVCOMM.
• Eckles Telephone Co. (dba BEVCOMM), Rural Heidelberg – $188,000. This project will serve 51 unserved households, seven unserved businesses, 40 underserved households and four underserved businesses in rural Heidelberg in Le Sueur County. Eckles Telephone Co. will build a network that will enable farmers to access applications and tools to make their operations more efficient and enhance crop production. The project also will improve access to health care and education. The total eligible project cost is $470,000, with a $282,000 investment from BEVCOMM.
August 1, 2015 - BEVCOMM announces immediate availability of unlimited Gigabit Internet speeds in New Prague, MN. Extremely fast Internet at speeds up to 1,000 Mbps and 100 times faster than the Internet speed in a typical U. S. household. At $139.95 per month residential households with a fiber to the home connection can connect to incredible speeds, with no data limits.
“As demands and customer expectations for faster speeds increase, we are continually looking for solutions that help meet that demand and keep our community on the cutting edge,” states Exchange Manager, Dirk Berger, “Our fiber to the home network in New Prague makes Gig connections possible. Fiber is future proof, a technology that dramatically changes the way users connect with their world. We are excited to offer such amazing speeds at an affordable rate.” He continues, “With a Gig you can do absolutely anything and everything online with virtually no limitation---watch movies, videos, game, chat, shop, telecommute and more; and with many devices all on the same connection.”
Blue Earth, MN, July 23, 2015– BEVCOMM, a Blue Earth based telecommunications company, announced today it has acquired VoiceNet Technologies, a Twin City business communications company located in Eagan. The acquisition expands BEVCOMM’s business voice, IT and surveillance services in the Twin Cities market.
“We’re excited to have completed the acquisition of VoiceNet Technologies, says BEVCOMM Business Solutions President, Jake Anderson. “This will accelerate our growth plan and provide a base for BEVCOMM in the metro market. Our new partnership allows BEVCOMM the opportunity to provide excellent customer service and additional customer choice for specialized business communication and managed IT solutions in the Twin Cities area.”
Chip Sullivan, former President and partner of VoiceNet Technologies, now with BEVCOMM, says, “I am thrilled to be joining BEVCOMM and having a much larger team to support the activity in this area.”
BEVCOMM is a fourth generation, family owned telecommunications company providing state of the art service for more than 120 years. With a strong commitment to its communities, BEVCOMM has more than 100 local employees offering responsive customer service throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. BEVCOMM Business Solutions provides business telephone systems, hospitality phone systems, video surveillance, managed IT, web solutions, and data cabling & networking.
About VoiceNet Technologies
VoiceNet Technology is a 20 year old company specializing in software development of telephone based Interactive Voice Response solutions; Consulting Services, and a reseller of Vertical Communication Inc.
OCTOBER 8, 2014, BLUE EARTH, MN – BEVCOMM has forged a partnership with five other Minnesota telephone companies, an Iowa provider and Sioux Falls, SD based SDN Communications to create better and more affordable network connectivity and Internet services for regional businesses.
The interconnected network will stretch from the US Highway 212 corridor to northern Iowa and from Sioux Falls to Rochester. The territory will include Twin Cities suburbs and other major markets such as Mankato and Rochester.
“This partnership makes BEVCOMM part of something bigger which will provide the network solutions and efficiencies business’s will need ,” says BEVCOMM CEO/President Bill Eckles.
The Minnesota and Iowa companies invited SDN to interconnect and manage the partnership because of its experience doing the same for its owners, the independent telephone companies of South Dakota.
SDN’s network already serves all of South Dakota for business-to-business broadband services with 30,000 miles of fiber optics. That network reaches into seven surrounding states, including metropolitan areas, such as Minneapolis, Omaha, Chicago, Fargo, Denver and Cheyenne.
The partners (and headquarters) include:
BEVCOMM is a fourth generation, family-owned telecom company and technology provider headquartered in Blue Earth, Minnesota. It maintains a history rooted in telephone service, providing dial-tone service and unified communications infrastructures to communities throughout Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa for more than 115 years.
BEVCOMM is positioned to provide the reliable legacy services of today, with the innovative services of tomorrow. From local and long distance telephone service to high-speed Internet access, Digital TV, and customized business services, BEVCOMM offers a wide range of communications solutions. Originally founded in 1895, and currently employing 104 people, BEVCOMM is one of the largest locally-owned telecommunications companies in Minnesota. BEVCOMM is headquartered in Blue Earth, and has offices in Minnesota Lake, Morristown, New Prague, Pine Island, Wells, & Winnebago, MN as well as Hager City and Weyerhaeuser, WI.
About SDN Communications
SDN is a coalition of South Dakota’s independent telephone companies – cooperatives, family, municipal, and tribal-owned companies. They joined their independent networks in 1989 and created SDN as a hub to deliver long distance choice to the telephone companies’ largely rural customer base. Today that same statewide fiber footprint allows file sharing and Internet traffic for business and government. In fact, SDN provides Internet not only to South Dakota state government offices, but also to virtually all public K-12 schools and state universities. Its network now reaches into eight states serving businesses in many sectors, but specializing in banking, health care, manufacturing, government, and education. SDN also offers Managed Services including routers, firewalls and remote network monitoring. Learn more at
BEVCOMM announced a pledge of $100,000 to the Pine Island Public School District to enhance technology in the school system, provided the upcoming bond referendum is approved. “This is our way of offering support for the new school facility in Pine Island,” says Bill Eckles, BEVCOMM’s President and CEO.
“The importance of maintaining our school systems is vital to the future of the county. Innovative technology and broadband connections are the building blocks of a digital learning environment. Broadband powers a learning environment for both students and teachers which promote success and achievement,” stated Bill Eckles. “The latest in technology in a new facility supports a commitment to the future, attracting new families and new businesses to the area.”
Summer is nearly over and students will trade in their beach towels for back packs as they gear up for a new school year. While most children anticipate heading back to school, some parents worry about juggling the cost of school supplies with the family budget. With this in mind, BEVCOMM will distribute FREE school supplies in their first, Back to School - FREE School Supply Event! BEVCOMM Employees and student volunteers packed 2,000 bags to be distributed to students in telephone serving areas.
Stop by any local BEVCOMM office from August 1st - August 31st and pick-up FREE school supplies for children in grades Kindergarten thru 5th Grade. School supply bags are packaged with pencils, erasers, glue, scissors, pencil bags, notebooks and more. Supplies are limited and will be issued on a first come, first serve basis.
January 26, 2011 - BEVCOMM’s recent upgrade in Wells, Winnebago, Freeborn, Delavan, Easton, Frost, and Bricelyn provides new service to customers. Never miss your favorite programming again with Digital Video Recording (DVR) from BEVCOMM TV. DVR allows you to watch TV on your own schedule with just a push of a button; you can record one program or an entire season. Along with the power to fast-forward and rewind, you can pause live TV until you're ready to start watching. You can even watch one program while recording another.
BEVCOMM’s local customer service representatives and technicians in Wells are ready to serve your communication needs. BEVCOMM offers Digital TV, High Speed Internet, and phone services in Bricelyn, Delavan, Easton, Freeborn, Frost, Wells, and Winnebago.
August 1, 2010 - BEVCOMM’s continued investment in a state-of-the-art fiber optic network will connect residential homes in New Prague. At no additional charge, BEVCOMM customers will be upgraded to the finest communication technology available today.
Due to the tremendous bandwidth available over a fiber connection, BEVCOMM will deliver telephone, digital television with many enhanced features, and even faster Internet speeds to your home. In addition to these exceptional services, a fiber connection provides added bandwidth allowing for future technological developments.
When asked about the decision to invest in a fiber network, BEVCOMM Exchange Manager, Dirk Berger states, "We make this investment because we believe it will contribute to the economic vitality of our community and allow us to serve our customers with the greatest communication services available today." BEVCOMM will invest $7 million dollars in the community of New Prague with its Fiber to the Home construction project.
Construction began in the summer of 2009 and is expected to continue through 2011. "You may have noticed an increased presence of BEVCOMM vehicles in your neighborhood," states Berger, "a BEVCOMM technician will make a personal visit to each and every home to obtain permission for construction as well as answer any questions you may have in regards to the project."
For more information about BEVCOMM’s Fiber to the Home project, stop by the local office or call 952-758-2501.
DEED awards over $20 million to provide access to reliable, high speed internet to more Minnesotans
January 21, 2020
[ST. PAUL, MN] – Today, Governor Tim Walz announced the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is awarding $23,270,933 in Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program funds to 30 broadband projects across the state. The projects will bring high-quality broadband access to underserved and unserved areas of Minnesota, providing fast, reliable internet access for more than 10,900 businesses, homes, and community anchor institutions.
“Fast, reliable broadband access is a critical economic development tool that improves quality of life and makes businesses in Greater Minnesota more competitive,” said Governor Walz. “These grants help us get closer to our goal to ensure that every Minnesotan has high-speed internet access by 2022.”
“You simply can’t participate in the innovation sector — or almost any sector of the economy today, for that matter — without high speed access to the internet,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “These grants help us reach that last mile of service in Minnesota and our goal to be a model state where you don’t have to move to a metro area to participate in the 21st century economy.”
During the 2019 legislative session, the Governor signed into law a total of $40 million in one-time funds for the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant program in 2020 and 2021. Altogether, DEED received requests for $70 million in funding for 80 different applications during the latest grant application round.
The Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program is primarily targeted towards communities in Greater Minnesota, where broadband infrastructure is not as likely to be at a level that is needed to support economic equity. A map of projects awarded grants in 2020 is posted on DEED’s website.
The State of Minnesota has set a goal for universal access and high-speed internet so that by no later than 2022, all Minnesota businesses and homes have access to high-speed broadband that provides minimum download speeds of at least 25 megabits per second and minimum upload speeds of at least three megabits per second. And by no later than 2026, all Minnesota businesses and homes have access to at least one provider of broadband with download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second and upload speeds of at least 20 megabits per second.
This is the fifth year of the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant program. The grants announced today bring the number of homes and businesses provided broadband access through the grant program since 2014 to a total of 49,900.
Details about projects awarded this year are listed below.
BEVCOMM (Eckles Telephone Company) – Le Sueur County Project – GRANT $1,857,376
This last mile project will upgrade approximately 417 unserved households, 88 unserved farms, 59 unserved businesses, and 4 community anchor institutions in rural areas around the communities of Montgomery, Heidelberg, and New Prague in Le Sueur, Rice, and Scott Counties. In a fundin41g partnership with the State of Minnesota and Le Sueur County, BEVCOMM will improve broadband service levels up to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. Sustainable broadband adoption will transform these unserved areas into highly-productive rural communities. This use and development of broadband will provide various home-based business options, stimulate economic growth, and stimulate innovation and investment. Education, health care, agriculture, energy efficiency, and public safety will improve with high-speed Internet access.
Total eligible project cost is $3,714,752 Local match is $1,857,376
BEVCOMM (Pine Island Telephone Company) – NE Pine Island Fiber Project Phase I – GRANT $222,222
This last mile project will upgrade approximately 54 unserved households, eight unserved farms, 14 unserved businesses, and one underserved household in areas of Pine Island and New Haven Townships in Goodhue County, and a small portion in Olmsted County. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota and Goodhue County Economic Development Authority, BEVCOMM will improve broadband service levels up to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. The use and development of broadband will provide various home-based business options, stimulate economic growth, innovation, and investment. Education, health care, agriculture, energy efficiency, and public safety will improve with high-speed Internet access.
Total eligible project cost is $634,920 Local match is $412,698
BEVCOMM (Blue Earth Valley Telephone Company & Easton Telephone Company) – Rural Faribault County Project – GRANT: $579,781
This last mile project will upgrade approximately 112 unserved and six underserved households, 50 unserved farms, and eight unserved businesses in areas of Faribault and Martin Counties. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota and Faribault County Economic Development Authority, BEVCOMM will improve broadband service levels up to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. Sustainable broadband adoption will transform these unserved areas into highly-productive rural communities.
Total eligible project cost is $1,449,451 Local match is $869,670
BEVCOMM plans to bring Fiber-to-the-Home technology to residents of Truman, Trimont, and Welcome in 2019. This fiber technology will enable residents to access services including ultra-fast internet with speeds up to one Gig — the equivalent of 1,000 Mbps. With Gig speeds, an HD movie can be downloaded in 36 seconds.
During the construction process, BEVCOMM will replace the current coax cables with a network of fiber-optic cables which use light instead of electricity to carry a digital data signal. The entire project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.
“Fiber offers important advantages,” said Bill Eckles, BEVCOMM’s CEO. “At the top of the list is fiber’s ability to provide virtually unlimited bandwidth capacity and internet speed, enabling users to enjoy a better experience with data-intensive applications such as streaming, online gaming, cloud storage, online education, and more. Fiber also increases service reliability and stability. We are excited to bring fiber to Truman, Trimont, and Welcome and to expand opportunities for individuals as well as expand economic development in our rural communities as a whole.”
Eckles states, “We invite residents to join us at our upcoming open houses to learn more about fiber and our upcoming construction project.”
BEVCOMM has invited residents of each community to a meet-and-greet open house to enjoy a complimentary meal and learn more about their upcoming Fiber-to-the-Home construction projects.
Truman residents are invited to the Community Building, 313 N 1st Ave W, from 3-7pm on Thursday, March 7th.
Trimont residents are invited to Triumph Hall, 546 Main St E, from 3-7pm on Wednesday, March 13th. Welcome residents are invited to the Welcome Legion Club, 112 N Dugan St, from 3-7pm, on Thursday, March 14th. Anyone with questions regarding the upcoming fiber projects can call BEVCOMM at 800-473-1442.
October 4, 2018, Blue Earth, MN - Bevcomm, headquartered in Blue Earth, has entered into an agreement to purchase the Cable TV systems in Trimont, Truman, and Welcome, MN. Beginning in 2019, Bevcomm will begin the process of building fiber optic technology to every home and business in the three communities. Fiber optics will provide world-class Gig infrastructure, feature-rich Digital TV, and telephone service. It is anticipated that the agreement will be finalized before the end of the year. Construction of the new fiber optic system is slated for spring of 2019.
April 12, 2018, Madison, WI – On April 12, 2018 Governor Scott Walker awarded the largest round of broadband grants in state history totaling 7.5 million which was leveraged to $19,000,471.00 with private matching funds. Forty-five expansion projects will extend high-speed internet access to as many as 1,600 business locations and 18,000 residential locations. In addition, Governor Walker announced the opening of the application process for the next round of grants with seven million to be awarded.
"Broadband has endless potential to help Wisconsin communities," said Governor Walker.
"Years ago, electricity revolutionized farming for my grandparents. Today broadband is revolutionizing farming, education, health care, and improving the day to day lives of Wisconsin rural residents. With this historic round of grants, we are another step closer to connecting every Wisconsin Community."
Governor Walker has awarded 55 broadband expansion grants since taking office totaling $5,452,000.
Bevcomm, formerly Indianhead Telephone Company, was awarded $134,516 and will deploy fiber to the premise to 119 homes and businesses in the Island Lake area of Rusk County and have plans to break ground in late 2018.
August 1, 2017 - It’s hard to believe that kids are already trading in their beach towels for backpacks as they gear up for a new school year. To help fill those backpacks, Bevcomm is distributing free school supplies in August to children in kindergarten through 5th grade in all Bevcomm service areas. Stop by any local Bevcomm office to pick up bags with essentials like pencils, erasers, glue, scissors, notebooks, and more. Supplies are limited and will be issued on a firstcome, first-served basis. We hope to see you soon and wish the best to all your students!
April 4, 2017– Recently federal legislation was passed allowing Internet Service Providers, such as BEVCOMM to sell customers’ web browsing history to third party vendors. Bevcomm would like to assure customers we do not and will not collect and sell their personal web browsing history.
“We have and will continue to protect the privacy of our subscribers. We value their business and appreciate customers place their trust in us as their broadband provider. We have never tracked web browsing history and have no plans to do so in the future regardless of what the rules and regulations allow,” comments BEVCOMM CEO, Bill Eckles.
August 31, 2016 - Crosslake, MN - Tri-Co Technologies, the partnership comprised of Emily Cooperative Telephone Company, West Central Telephone Association and BEVCOMM is pleased to announce they have closed on the purchase of Crosslake Communications as of the end of the day August 31st.
The partnership will continue to operate using the name Crosslake Communications and the local office will stay open. The existing employees of Crosslake Communications will be hired by Emily Cooperative Telephone Company, which will be providing management services.
Josh Netland, Emily Cooperative Telephone Company General Manager and President of Tri-Co Technologies said, “We are honored to be given the chance to become part of the Crosslake community. We look forward to working with the city and our new customers to bring more advanced telecommunications services to Crosslake. The partners have a long history of putting the customer first and we look forward to continuing this tradition in Crosslake.”
Nov 20, 2015 - ST. PAUL – Lt. Governor Tina Smith and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) today announced that $11 million in grants have been awarded for projects to expand broadband access in 15 Greater Minnesota communities. Lt. Governor Smith made the announcement at the Blandin Foundation’s “Border to Border Broadband: Better Together” Conference, “We need border-to-border broadband Internet access to build an economy that works for all Minnesotans,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “Broadband Internet access isn’t just nice, it’s necessary for Minnesota businesses to grow and our students to thrive. While these grants are a good start, significant need remains.”
This broadband funding was awarded under DEED’s Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program, which Governor Mark Dayton signed into law in May 2014. This year, DEED received 44 applications for funding, totaling more than $29 million in requests. Recipients were selected based on an internal review and scoring process.
The latest round of broadband grants will improve access to high-speed broadband for 3,222 households, 786 businesses and nearly 90 community institutions throughout the state.
“By gaining access to broadband, these rural communities will increase economic development, improve living standards and enhance education and public services,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “While we are pleased to assist in the development of these projects, there are many other communities waiting to receive access to high speed Internet and additional resources are urgently needed."
Now in its second year, the program’s first round of funding awarded $19.4 million to 17 Greater Minnesota communities in February of this year.
BEVCOMM Cannon Valley Telecom, Rural Freeborn Fiber-to-the-Premises Project, $149,625 The project will build out broadband infrastructure to provide high-speed Internet service to 43 households and one business in rural Freeborn in south-central Minnesota’s Freeborn County. Total project costs are $393,750. BEVCOMM will cover the remaining $244,125 (62 percent local match).
Community and Economic Development Impact: The project will support various home-based businesses, stimulate economic growth, and encourage innovation and investment. Education, health care, energy efficiency and public safety will improve with high-speed Internet access. The greatest economic development potential of the project will be in crop and livestock production, including advancement in bin monitoring systems, livestock feed and environment monitoring, security, video surveillance and energy management.
BEVCOMM Blue Earth Valley Telephone, Rural Winnebago Fiber-to-the-Premises Project, $142,690 The project will provide high-speed Internet service to 30 unserved households and farms in rural Winnebago in Faribault County in south-central Minnesota. T otal project costs are $375,500. BEVCOMM will cover the remaining $232,810 (62 percent local match).
Community and Economic Development Impact: The project will stimulate home-based businesses, economic growth, and innovation and investment. Education, health care, energy efficiency and public safety will improve with high-speed Internet access. The greatest economic development potential will be in local crop and livestock production. Broadband investments will enable area farmers to access applications and tools to make their operations more efficient and enhance their crop production. A second benefit will be better health care, especially in emergency situations. First responders, paramedics and rural doctors will be able to share medical information and start vital treatment to a patient while an ambulance is en route to the hospital.
July 8, 2015 - BEVCOMM invests in a state-of-the-art fiber optic network that will connect households in Minnesota Lake to a Gigabit network. In August BEVCOMM will begin the first phase of a multi-year fiber to the home construction project. “We will focus first on the area west of Main Street from Lake Avenue West to 5th Avenue West,” states Exchange Manager, Scott Linde. (See details on map for the 2015 project).
Fiber optics allow for tremendous bandwidth capacity and can easily transmit super-fast Internet, high-definition television, and crystal clear telephone services with plenty of capacity still available for future applications.
“As demands and customer expectations for new and advanced services increase, we are continually looking for solutions that help meet that demand and keep our community on the cutting edge,” states Linde. “Fiber offers many benefits to the customer including incredible Gigabit High Speed Internet, increased reliability, future flexibility, and cost efficiency. We make this investment because we believe it will contribute to the economic vitality of our community and allow us to serve our customers with the greatest communication services available today."
The fiber to the home project makes Gig connections possible. A Gigabit connection is 100 times faster than the Internet speed in a typical US household. With a Gig connection from BEVCOMM you will quickly enjoy a big difference in your online experience.
Download an HD TV show in 3 seconds Download 25 songs in 1 second Download an HD movie in 36 seconds Download 100 digital pictures in 3 seconds Construction in Minnesota Lake will begin in August. Subscribers in Minnesota Lake can expect progression throughout the community over the next several years.
September 8, 2014---BEVCOMM invests in state-of-the-art fiber optic network that will connect residential homes and businesses in Pine Island and Oronoco, MN. Fiber optics allow for tremendous bandwidth capacity and can easily transmit super-fast Internet, high-definition television, and crystal clear telephone services with plenty of capacity still available for future applications.
“As demands and customer expectations for new and advanced services increase, we are continually looking for solutions that help meet that demand and keep our community on the cutting edge,” states BEVCOMM CEO, Bill Eckles, “Fiber offers many benefits to the customer including superior bandwidth, increased reliability, future flexibility, and cost efficiency. We make this investment because we believe it will contribute to the economic vitality of our community and allow us to serve our customers with the greatest communication services available today." Construction in Pine Island began earlier this summer. Ground breaking in Oronoco is planned for fall of 2014. Expect progression with both fiber projects over the next several years.
December 21, 2012 - It has been announced that Bevcomm, headquartered in Blue Earth, MN, has acquired from Hector Communications, the Granada Telephone Company, Hager Telecom, Indianhead Telephone Company, and Pine Island Telephone Company.
The companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which Bevcomm will acquire ownership of each company on January 1, 2013. When the acquisition completes, Bevcomm will serve the communities of Granada, Pine Island, and Oronoco, located in Minnesota, and Hager City, Bay City, Weyerhaeuser, Exeland, and Radisson, located in Wisconsin. Each local office will remain open, and all existing employees will become employees ofBevcomm.
Bill Eckles, CEO of Bevcomm, commented, “We consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to serve these new communities. Bevcomm has a 120 year history of bringing technology to small rural communities. We consider it to be our responsibility to make sure the communities we serve are never left behind.”
Bevcomm provides local Telephone, High Speed Internet, Digital TV, and Business Solution Services in Blue Earth, Bricelyn, Delavan, Easton, Elmore, Freeborn, Frost, Guckeen, Granada, Huntley, Kiester, Minnesota Lake, Morristown, New Prague, Warsaw, Wells, Winnebago, and Stevens, IA.
It is Bevcomm’s mission to provide cutting-edge technology, high quality products and services, exceptional customer service, as well as fair and competitive rates.
12/1/2012 WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today called the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take action to strengthen rural phone service. Currently, some phone providers refuse to connect calls to customers served by small rural carriers, hurting local businesses and consumers. In a bipartisan letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Klobuchar and 35 other senators called on the FCC to take swift action to restore quality service in rural areas to resolve call completion problems and work to preserve the basic integrity of the nation’s communications network.
“Call completion problems have serious economic consequences throughout rural America,” Klobuchar said in the letter. “During this difficult economic period, small businesses cannot afford to lose business opportunities because of dropped calls and poor service quality. These problems have continued for far too long and it is only a matter of time before this situation leads to tragedy when a rural customer is unable to receive an urgent call. Small business owners and people living in rural areas are rightfully frustrated and deserve a resolution to these problems.”
Many rural areas suffer from inadequate and unreliable phone service and an increasing number of consumers experience calls that fail to complete, are delayed, have poor voice quality, lack caller ID information, or are never connected because some originating providers refuse to connect calls to customers served by small rural carriers.
A study conducted by the National Exchange Carrier Association in April concluded that call failure rates and instances of poor voice quality were significantly higher in rural areas compared to their non-rural counterparts across all call originating platforms.
Sen. Klobuchar is a member of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, which has oversight of the Federal Communications Commission and is a leader in the Senate advocating for the deployment of advanced communications networks to rural America.
July 2012 - BEVCOMM announced a pledge of $100,000 to the United South Central School District to enhance technology in the new school, provided the upcoming bond referendum is approved on August 14th. “This is our way of offering support for the new school facility in Wells” says Bill Eckles, BEVCOMM’s President and CEO.
“The importance of maintaining our school systems is vital to the future of Faribault County. Innovative technology and broadband connections are the building blocks of a digital learning environment. Broadband powers a learning environment for both students and teachers which promote success and achievement,” stated Bill Eckles. “The latest in technology in a new facility supports a commitment to the future, attracting new families and new businesses to our area.”
BEVCOMM has 85 employees and provides local Telephone, High Speed Internet, Digital TV and Business Solution Services in Blue Earth, Bricelyn, Delavan, Easton, Elmore, Freeborn, Frost, Guckeen, Granada, Huntley, Kiester, Minnesota Lake, Morristown, New Prague, Warsaw, Wells, Winnebago, and parts of Dakota County, MN.
PURPOSE OF THIS POLICY
The Bevcomm Internet Services Acceptable Use Policy has been formulated with the following goals in mind:
• Ensure security, reliability and privacy of Bevcomm systems and network, and the networks and systems of others
• Avoid situations that may cause Bevcomm to incur civil liability
• Maintain the image and reputation of Bevcomm as a responsible content provider
• Preserve the value of Internet resources as a conduit for free expression
• Encourage the responsible use of net resources, discouraging practices which degrade the usability of network resources and thus the value of Internet services
• Preserve the privacy and security of individual users
Customers are prohibited from transmitting on or through any of Bevcomm services, any material that is, in Bevcomm’s sole discretion, unlawful, obscene, threatening, abusive, libelous, or hateful, or encourages conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, gives rise to civil liability, or otherwise violates any local, state, national or international law.
Bevcomm services may only be used for lawful purposes. Transmission, distribution, or storage of any information, data or material in violation of United States or state or local regulation or law, or by the common law, is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, material protected by copyright, trademark, trade secret, or any other statute. Bevcomm reserves the right to remove such illegal material from its servers.
The customer is responsible for keeping his billing data with Bevcomm up-to-date and accurate. Furnishing false data on the signup form, contract, or online application, including fraudulent use of credit card numbers, is grounds for immediate termination, and may subject the offender to civil or criminal liability. The resale or sharing of Bevcomm products and services on or off premises is not permitted, unless specifically permitted and documented in a written agreement. Example: Sharing one Broadband plan between two households.
SYSTEM AND NETWORK SECURITY
Customers may not attempt to circumvent user authentication or security of any host, network, or account ("hacking"). This includes, but is not limited to, accessing data not intended for the Customer, logging into a server or account the Customer is not expressly authorized to access, or probing the security of other networks (such as running a scan or similar tool).
Customers may not attempt to interfere with service to any user, host, or network ("denial of service attacks"). This includes, but is not limited to, "flooding" of networks, deliberate attempts to overload a service, and attempts to "crash" a host. Customers may not use any kind of program/script/command, or send messages of any kind, designed to interfere with a user's terminal session, via any means, locally or by the Internet.
Bevcomm reserves the right to enforce user session time limits during periods of activity and inactivity. Users who violate systems or network security may incur criminal or civil liability. Bevcomm will cooperate fully with investigations of violations of systems or network security at other sites, including cooperating with law enforcement authorities in the investigation of suspected criminal violations.
WEB HOSTING OR INTERNET USE
Customers must protect the privacy of other users, and not intentionally seek information on, obtain copies of or modify files, other data, or passwords belonging to other users without permission.
Customers must respect the legal protection provided by copyright, trademark, licenses, and other laws to programs, data and documents. Customers may not upload to Bevcomm servers any data or software that is subject to distribution or copyright limits. High Speed Internet customers will be prohibited from using residential broadband service for web, gaming, or other hosting type servers. Customers wishing to use broadband service for these purposes must subscribe to the business rate service.
Harassment, whether through language, frequency, or size of messages, is prohibited. Customers may not send email to any person who does not wish to receive it. If a recipient asks to stop receiving email, the customer must not send that person any further email.
Customers are explicitly prohibited from sending unsolicited bulk mail messages ("junk mail" or "spam"). This includes, but is not limited to, bulk-mailing of commercial advertising, informational announcements, and political tracts. Such material may only be sent to those who have explicitly requested it. Malicious email, including but not limited to "mailbombing" (flooding a user or site with very large or numerous pieces of email), is prohibited. Forging of e-mail header information is not permitted.
Bevcomm accounts or services may not be used to collect replies to messages sent from another Internet Service Provider, where those messages violate this Acceptable Use Policy or the Acceptable Use Policy of that other provider.
It is the responsibility of the customer to check their email often and set their mail client to delete email from the server once it is downloaded. Bevcomm will also delete email from the server when the limit of 50 megabytes is exceeded. Incoming email messages are not currently limited in size, but you should not normally need to store multi-megabyte email files on the email server. Outgoing email messages are currently limited to 25 megabytes and the maximum number of recipients is 25. Large files (5 Mb or larger) may be difficult or impossible to retrieve using a dial-up connection.
Prohibited Uses of Email, Web Hosting, or Internet Services.
Upon first violation of one of these policies, Bevcomm will issue a written warning to the customer. Upon the second violation of one of these policies, Bevcomm will suspend the customer’s internet service account until the customer executes a Bevcomm approved and prepared Cease-and-Desist Agreement. Upon a third violation of one of these policies, Bevcomm will suspend the customer’s account for a period of 30 days. A fourth violation of these policies will result in a suspension of the customer’s internet account for a period of 6 months. A fifth violation will result in the final termination of the customer’s account.
OTHER PROHIBITED USES
Bevcomm will generally follow a procedure of issuing a written warning after the first violation, suspending service until a written agreement of cease-and-desist is received after the second violation, and terminating service after the third violation.
Bevcomm reserves the right to suspend or terminate any Bevcomm account and services in accordance with the provisions of this Acceptable Use Policy or for any reason not prohibited by law.
Bevcomm reserves the right to modify this policy at any time. Current copies of this and other Bevcomm policies are available at www.bevcomm.net.
Many individuals or low-income families qualify for assistance with telephone charges but don’t realize that this help is available to them. If you’re experiencing financial difficulties, or have a friend for a family member in this situation, we encourage you to look into these programs.
The Lifeline Program is designed to reduce the monthly telephone or broadband charges for low income-eligible customers. Lifeline Program is only for households with a phone line or Internet service with qualifying speeds (must be greater than 10x1 Mb). Lifeline can save you up to $9.25 per month depending on where you live.
Eligibility guidelines vary throughout the country. You may be eligible for Lifeline if you, or someone in your household, participate in one of the following federal assistance programs:
•Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP aka Food Stamps)
•Supplemental Security Income
•Federal Public Housing Assistance or Section 8
•Veterans Pension Benefit Program
Note: They are no longer allowing credits for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or the National School Free Lunch Program, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (MN Family Investment Program, or MFIP)
Individuals who do not qualify under any of the above but live on or near a federally recognized reservation may qualify for Lifeline Assistance if the applicant receives benefits from at least one of the following programs:
•Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
•Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
•Head Start (only for those meeting its income qualifying standard)
•National School Lunch Program’s free lunch program
To learn more about Lifeline, visit www.lifelinesupport.org, or stop by your local Bevcomm office for more details.
Minnesota Residents accepting Lifeline: You will automatically be enrolled in the TAP Program as required by the Minnesota Law and the applicable Commission Orders.
Lifeline credits may be used to reduce the price of broadband Internet service in addition to reducing the price of landline service, but TAP credits may only be used to reduce the price of landline service.
Apply now. Please deliver your completed application to your local Bevcomm office.
Are long-distance calls not getting through to you? Many people in rural America are experiencing intermittent problems receiving long-distance phone calls from across the country. You may have encountered any of the following:
• Someone tells you he/she tried to call you but the call didn't get through, or the caller heard ringing but you didn't.
• A call came through to you but the quality was poor.
• A call came through but the Caller ID was incorrect.
The problem starts with the long-distance carrier used by the customer who makes the call, and can only be resolved by this carrier. Local telecommunications providers, such as Bevcomm, are not the cause of the problem. We strive to provide excellent service at all times, and are as frustrated as you are by the illegal practices of some long-distance carriers and their agents.
It is illegal for long-distance carriers to block, choke, or reduce long distance traffic and that this prohibition also includes any practices that lead to call termination or call quality problems as well.
The nationwide epidemic is negatively affecting local businesses, public safety and our relationship with our customers. Rural carriers have filed complaints with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and state agencies. The FCC has created a task force to investigate and address the issue. Rural telco advocates are encouraging swift and severe action against all providers at the center of the problem.
Click here for more information on the call completion issue or to file a complaint with the FCC. We'll continue to monitor this situation and keep you updated. As always, please contact us if you have questions or concerns.
The National Do Not Call Registry places consumers in charge of the telemarketing calls they get at home. The Federal government created the national registry to make it easier and more efficient for you to stop getting telemarketing calls you don’t want. You can register online at https://www.donotcall.gov/ or call toll-free, 1-888-382-1222 from the number you wish to register. Registration is free.
IMPORTANT: When a customer signs up for certain Bevcomm-offered services, the customer may agree to policies that address service-specific privacy practices. For example, Bevcomm dial-up and High-speed Internet services customers are subject to additional privacy practices.
In the normal course of providing telecommunications services, Bevcomm collects and maintains certain information about customer accounts. This information, when matched to a customer’s name, address, and calling or originating billing telephone number, is known as Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI).
Examples of CPNI include information typically available from details on a customer’s monthly telephone bill—the type of line, technical characteristics, class of service, current telephone charges, long distance and local service billing record, directory assistance charges, usage data, and calling patterns.
We maintain CPNI to provide our customers with detailed and accurate billing information. We do not sell CPNI to unaffiliated third parties and abide by the federal and/or state CPNI rules that apply to all telecommunications carriers.
When a customer subscribes to our local telephone service, we offer the customer the opportunity to request that his/her name, telephone number, and address not be published in directories or be made available through directory assistance.
We will not provide a customer’s personal information to unaffiliated third parties for the marketing of third-party products without our customer’s consent.
We will keep our customer’s personal information secure and confidential through safeguards such as secure encryption technology and by requiring the entry of usernames and passwords to access personal information.
Information we collect and use:
Bevcomm collects and uses customer information such as name, address, and telephone number. Personal information, such as demographics, billing, payment and transaction information, including credit card numbers, account numbers, and/or social security numbers, may be combined with customer information.
We may use personal information to monitor our customers’ quality of service and/or to provide products and services.
We also use personal information to market and sell Bevcomm-offered products and services.
We maintain and/or collect email addresses from customers to provide product and service information and confirmation. Email addresses may be used for marketing Bevcomm-offered products and services.
Information we disclose to third parties:
We provide personal information to third parties solely in order to provide certain Bevcomm-offered products and services. For example, we disclose customer personal information to long distance carriers and their affiliates solely in order to provide long distance services.
We may share necessary personal information with third parties, such as shipping companies, to complete an order.
We may, where permitted by law, provide personal information to credit bureaus, or provide information and/or sell receivables to collection agencies, to obtain payment for Bevcomm-offered products and services.
We must disclose information, when requested, to comply with court orders, warrants, or subpoenas. We will also share information when necessary to prevent unlawful use of communications services, when necessary to repair network outages, and when a customer dials 911 and information regarding their location is transmitted to a public safety agency.
Your name and number may also be transmitted and displayed on a Caller ID device unless you have elected to block such information. Please note that Caller ID Blocking does not prevent the display of your number when you dial certain business numbers, 911, 900 numbers, or toll-free 800, 888, 877, or 866 numbers.
Changes to this policy:
When you interact with us, we automatically receive and store certain types of information, such as the content you view, the date and time that you view this content, the products you purchase, or your location information associated with your IP address. We use the information we collect to serve you more relevant advertisements (referred to as “Retargeting”). This is statistical information used to monitor the usage of our website and for advertising purposes. This information does not include personal information.
As you browse bevcomm.net, advertising cookies will be placed on your computer so that we can understand what you are interested in. Our display advertising partner, AdRoll, then enables us to present you with retargeting advertising on other sites based on your previous interaction with bevcomm.net. The techniques our partners employ do not collect personal information such as your name, email address, postal address or telephone number. You can visit this page AdRoll Privacy to opt out of AdRoll and their partners' targeted advertising.
The Telephone Equipment Distribution Program provides telephone equipment to people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, speech impaired or have a physical disability and need adaptive equipment in order to use the phone. DHS loans the equipment at no cost for as long as you need the equipment. To learn more visit the MN Department of Human Resources.
Minnesota Relay is a free, federally mandated Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) program that allows individuals who are deaf, blind, hard of hearing, or speech disabled to place and receive telephone calls.
A specially trained communications assistant (CA) facilitates the telephone conversation between the person with a hearing or speech disability and other individuals.
Calls can be made to anywhere in the world (standard charges apply for long-distance calls), 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. All calls are completely confidential.
Minnesota Relay is administered by the Telecommunications Access Minnesota (TAM) program within the Minnesota Department of Commerce, and is funded by a monthly surcharge on each wired and wireless telephone access line, and a fee on each pre-paid wireless retail transaction, in the state.
The state contracts with Sprint Communications Company, LP to provide Minnesota Relay services. The Minnesota Relay call center is located in Moorhead, MN.
Backup Power Notice to Customers
Battery Backup Power Available for Telephone Service during Power Outages: Many advanced home phone services require backup battery power to continue functioning during a power outage. As we transition from traditional copper lines to fiber-fed connections to your home, service now requires an electrical connection and battery backup (optional) in order to function. Bevcomm provides one backup battery at the time of installation. However, batteries are typically only good three years. To avoid a disruption of home voice service during an outage – and to maintain the ability to connect to 911 emergency services -- we offer you the option of purchasing additional backup power for your home phones.
What Your Battery Can – and Can’t – Do for You: Our backup batteries allow you to continue to use your home phone services during a power outage. Without a backup battery or alternate backup source such as a generator, customers will not be able to make any calls, including emergency calls to 911. The only way to maintain the ability to use your phone is by using some form of backup power.
Our backup battery provides back up power to telephone service only, it will not operate your Internet or TV service. Home security systems, medical monitoring devices and other equipment will not run on your telephone battery backup.
Purchase and Replacement Options: 8-hour battery backup is available for purchase for $20 from any local Bevcomm office. If you do not feel comfortable installing your own battery we would be happy to assist you. Please note: A $20 service free applies, or installation is free with a subscription to WirePro.
A 24 hour battery back-up option is available for $300.
Expected Backup Power Duration: 8-hour backup batteries are expected to last at least 8 hours on standby power. The backup battery should offer approximately 6 hours of talk time. If you feel this is not enough, you may extend your standby power by purchasing spare 8 hour batteries or a 24 hour battery from Bevcomm.
Instructions for Proper Care and Use of Your Battery: Please review the detailed instructions included with your battery for proper use, storage, and care of your battery to ensure that it will function as needed during a power outage. If you do not store your battery correctly, it may shorten its useful life. Environmental factors such as temperature can shorten your battery’s useful life. We recommend that you store your battery above 41°F and below 104°F. These batteries are not rechargeable. They will not last forever and should be replaced every three years, or when your device starts to make a loud beeping sound. That sound means that the battery is depleted, and must be replaced.
There are many small fees in your monthly billing from Bevcomm. Below you will find a explanation of those charges.
Network Access Charge: The FCC allows local telephone companies to bill customers for a portion of the costs of providing access.
Subscriber Line Charge: This is a federally mandated and regulated fee that all telephone users pay. This nationally pooled money is used to subsidize areas of the country where it costs more to provide phone service, similar to the areas we live.
911 Fee: This charge is imposed by local governments to help pay for emergency services such as fire and rescue. Local telephone companies are obligated to route emergency calls from customers to the proper Public Safety answering center. Costs associated with the 911 systems are determined by your local government. The local telephone company collects those charges through your monthly telephone bill and then pays those amounts to the provider of 911 service in your area.
Federal Universal Service Charge (FUSC): Phone service provides connections to emergency services, to government services and to surrounding communities, the USF (Universal Service Fund) helps to make phone service affordable and available to all Americans. This includes consumers with low incomes, those living in areas where the costs of providing telephone service is high, schools and libraries and rural health care providers.
TAM: Telecommunications Access Minnesota is a fee that is charged on each line you have. It is used to help provide telephone service to people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired.
TAP: Telecommunications Assistance Program is a state mandated fee charged on each telephone line you have. It is used to help provide telephone service to Minnesota’s low-income residents.
Universal Service Fund (USF): This fund was created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The Universal Service Fund is a special program that collects money to support telecommunications in areas of the country where it is very expensive to provide service. You'll notice that this charge is tied to your long distance bill. The Long Distance companies are required to support the fund, but they are allowed to recover their contributions from their customers. Ultimately, this program benefits you and your rural community by keeping the cost of phone service extremely affordable
Federal Tax: The Federal Government imposes a 3% tax on local access charges.
Minnesota State Tax: This is a 6.875% charge imposed by the state of Minnesota, and local and municipal government, on goods and services.
City Franchise Fee: A cable television franchise fee in the United States, the stems from a community's basic right to charge for use of the property it owns. The cable television franchise fees represent part of the compensation a community receives in exchange for the cable operator's occupation and the right-of-way use of public property. A franchise fee is not a tax; it is a rental charge.
Minnesota local service providers are authorized to provide two federally-funded and one state-funded telephone service discount programs that were designed to promote universal service by providing low-income individuals with new telephone service installations and monthly telephone service discounts. The state Telephone Assistance Plan (TAP) and federal Lifeline programs provide monthly telephone service discounts on one landline or wireless telephone per household. Learn more here:
TAP Application: https://mn.gov/puc/assets/2019%20TAP%20App_tcm14-371427.pdf
Broadband Internet Access Services: Network Management Practices, Performance Characteristics, and Commercial Terms and Conditions for Fixed Services
Bevcomm (“the Company”) has adopted the following network management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms and conditions for its broadband Internet access services in compliance with the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC’s) Open Internet Framework requirements (GN Docket No. 09-191 and WC Docket No. 07-52).
These practices, characteristics, terms and conditions are intended to help preserve the Internet as an open framework that enables consumer choice, freedom of expression, end-user control, competition, and freedom to innovate without permission, while permitting the Company to manage its network reasonably.
These practices, characteristics, terms and conditions are effective as of November 20, 2011.
The Company may add, delete, or modify certain practices, performance characteristics, terms and conditions from time to time at its discretion. It will provide clear written notice of these changes on this website, but will not notify customers, content providers, applications providers, service providers or device providers individually of such changes by bill inserts, e-mails, tweets, telephone calls or other direct communications unless specifically required to do so by federal or state authorities. The Company will provide as much advance notice as practicable of such changes. It will normally endeavor to furnish written notice on this website thirty (30) days before changes become effective, but reserves the right to use a shorter notice period when regulatory, operational, technical or other circumstances warrant.
I. Network Management Practices
The Company manages its network with the goal of providing the best practicable broadband Internet experience to all of its customers. Within the scope of its resources, it attempts to deploy and maintain adequate capacity and facilities within its own network, and to acquire sufficient Middle Mile capacity or facilities outside its service area to connect with the Internet. The Company and its staff use their best efforts to monitor, address and minimize (but do not guarantee that they can prevent) the effects of spam, viruses, security attacks, network congestion, and other phenomena that can degrade the service of affected customers.
A. Congestion Management Practices
Congestion is an Internet access service problem that can slow web browsing, downloading, and other activities of the customers during certain peak usage periods. Congestion may be caused by capacity limits and bottlenecks in a service provider’s own network, or by limitations in the capacity of the Middle Mile transport facilities and services that many rural service providers must purchase from unrelated entities to carry the traffic of their customers between their service areas and the closest Internet nodes.
As of October 2011, the Company has experienced no problems with congestion.
If significant congestion problems arise in the future, the Company’s most desired approach is to determine the source of the problem, and to increase the capacity of the affected portions of its network and/or of its Middle Mile routes where warranted. However, network and Middle Mile upgrades often cannot be accomplished instantaneously because they require negotiations, authorizations and agreements with multiple unrelated entities such as lenders, government agencies, equipment vendors, property owners and other carriers.
If or when network and/or Middle Mile upgrades are not able to be deployed on a timely or reasonable basis, the Company reserves the right to monitor and identify which customer accounts are using the greatest amount of bandwidth during periods of heavy congestion, and to contact those “high-volume customers” to work out a solution to the problem. The Company’s preferred solution will be to help such “high-volume customers” find acceptable times during non-peak periods to engage in the same activities.
If that preferred solution is not possible, the Company reserves the right to manage temporarily the Internet traffic of “high-volume customers” during periods of significant congestion until such periods of congestion pass. This temporary traffic management will be accomplished by technically and commercially feasible methods that are available or that become available in the future. Affected “high-volume customers” will still be able to access the Internet and engage in any and all online activities they desire. However, during periods of congestion they may experience conditions such as longer times to download or upload files, slower Web surfing, and/or slower movements during online game playing.
Customers should note that any temporary traffic management practices employed by the Company will impact only identified and notified “high-volume customers” during periods when congestion problems are experienced, and will not be based upon the types of content, applications, services, or devices such customers use. On the basis of its knowledge and experience as of November 2011, the Company expects that periods of temporary traffic management, if any, will be brief and infrequent.
For purposes of its congestion management practices, the Company will consider a period in which a “congestion problem” arises and exists to be one where middle mile usage exceeds 90% capacity of contracted middle mile usage.
B. Application-Specific Behavior Practices
The Company does not favor or inhibit certain applications or classes of applications. Customers may use any lawful and commercially available application which they desire on the Company’s network.
The Company does not normally monitor the contents of the traffic or applications of its customers. It undertakes no obligation to monitor or investigate the lawfulness of the applications used by its customers. If any party contacts the Company with a substantial allegation that an application being used by a customer is unlawful, the Company will investigate the matter (including consultation, as it deems appropriate, with attorneys, consultants, federal or state regulators, and/or federal, state or local law enforcement agencies), and will take appropriate actions to deal with the use of applications that are demonstrated to be unlawful.
Customers may occasionally develop their own applications, or modify commercially available applications. The Company will not prohibit the use of customer-developed or modified applications unless there is a reasonable belief that such applications will cause harm to its network.
The Company does not block or rate-control specific protocols or protocol ports.
The Company does not modify protocol fields in ways that are not prescribed by the applicable protocol standards.
C. Device Attachment Rules
The Company does not have any approval procedures that must be satisfied before a device can be connected to its network. Customers may use any lawful, compatible, type-accepted (if necessary) and commercially available device which they desire on the Company’s network, as long as such device does not harm the network.
The Company does not normally monitor the devices used by its customers. It warns customers that some types of devices (for example, Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (‘DOCSIS’) devices intended for use on cable broadband networks) may not be compatible with its fiber optic and digital subscriber line (“DSL”) network.
The Company undertakes no obligation to monitor or investigate the lawfulness of the devices used by its customers. If any party contacts the Company with a substantial allegation that a device being used by a customer is unlawful, the Company will investigate the matter (including consultation, as it deems appropriate, with attorneys, consultants, federal or state regulators, and/or federal, state or local law enforcement agencies), and will take appropriate actions to deal with the use of a device that is demonstrated to be unlawful.
Customers may occasionally develop their own devices, or modify commercially available devices. The Company will not prohibit the use of lawful customer-developed or modified devices unless there is a reasonable belief that such devices will cause harm to its network, or vice versa.
D. Security Practices
The Company does not normally monitor the traffic of its customers. It undertakes no obligation to monitor or protect such customer traffic from spam, viruses, denial-of-service attacks, or other malicious, unlawful or unwanted activities.
The Company recognizes that customers can purchase spam filtering and anti-virus software from commercial vendors to meet their needs. The Company may from time to time offer anti-spam and/or anti-virus software or services to customers who desire to purchase them from the Company. When offered, these software or services will be described and priced in other sections of this website and in the Company’s sales and marketing materials. Customers are free to obtain anti-spam and/or anti-virus software or services from any source they desire, as long as such software or services do not disrupt or degrade the traffic of other customers of the Company or harm the network.
A customer that is subjected to a denial-of-service attack, or similar malicious, unlawful or unwanted activity, is urged to notify the Company as soon as possible. The Company will work with the customer, other service providers, federal and state regulators, and/or law enforcement to determine the source of such activity, and to take appropriate, and technically and economically reasonable efforts to address the matter.
The Company employs commercially appropriate security procedures to protect its network and its customer records from unauthorized access by third parties. The Company does not guarantee that it can protect customers from any and/or all security breaches.
E. Traffic Blocking
The Company does not block any lawful content, applications, devices, and/or non-harmful devices.
The only potential exceptions where blocking may occur entail the unlawful or harmful circumstances set forth in Sections I.A through I.D above. The Company believes that all such circumstances constitute reasonable network management practices.
The Company does not knowingly and intentionally impair, degrade or delay the traffic on its network so as to render effectively unusable certain content, applications, services and/or non-harmful devices. However, the Company notes that congestion may from time to time impair, degrade, or delay some traffic.
The Company does not charge edge service providers of content, applications, services and/or devices any fees simply for transporting traffic between them and its customers.
II. Performance Characteristics
Many of the service and performance characteristics of the Company’s broadband Internet access services are contained in the service offering portions of this website. The Company offers different tiers of service at different prices, and changes these from time to time.
A. General Service Description
The Company uses a hybrid fiber optic and copper digital subscriber line (“DSL”) network that reaches approximately 98 percent of the potential customers in its rural service area, and a fiber-to-the-node network (“FTTN”) that reaches approximately 85 percent of such customers. The expected access speeds in the DSL portions of the network range from 1 megabit per second (“Mbps”) to 15 Mbps, depending upon the actual lengths of the respective fiber trunks and copper lines. The expected access speeds in the FTTN portion of the network range from 1 Mbps to 15 Mbps, depending upon the electronics installed.
Actual access speeds and time delays (latency) are impacted by the length, capacity and congestion of Middle Mile transport facilities (between the Company’s service area and Internet nodes) as well as the characteristic of the Company’s own network. Because conditions on these facilities and routes can change frequently, the Company can provide estimated actual access speed and latency information only for specific recent time periods requested by a customer.
The Company’s service is suitable for real-time applications. The Company does not impose any necessary conditions or exceptions.
B. Impact of Specialized Services
The Company offers both facilities-based VoIP and IP video services to end-users.
As of November 2011, these specialized services have not adversely affected the last-mile capacity available for the Company’s broadband Internet access services, or the performance of such services. Customer should note that significantly heavier use of specialized services (particularly IP video services) may impact the available capacity for and/or the performance of its broadband Internet access services. The Company will monitor this situation, and appreciates feedback from its customers.
C. Impact of Middle Mile Capacity Constraints
The Company provides both its own Middle Mile facilities and must purchase Middle Mile capacity and/or services from other entities for routes approximately 0 to 70 miles long between the Company’s service area and the closest Internet nodes.
The Company has a minority ownership interest in one of its Middle Mile providers, but does not control it. The Company cannot guarantee that it will be able to obtain additional Middle Mile capacity at commercially reasonable prices if and when needs for additional Middle Mile capacity arise.
III. Commercial Terms and Conditions
The commercial terms and conditions of the Company’s broadband Internet access services are contained in greater detail in the service offering and acceptable use portions of this website. This section provides a brief overview or reference to terms and conditions detailed elsewhere, plus discussions of other terms and conditions required by the FCC’s Open Internet Framework.
A. Pricing Terms and Conditions
The Company offers different tiers and levels of service at different prices, and changes these from time to time. These service tiers and prices are detailed in the service offering portion of this website.
The Company does not impose usage-based fees upon certain tiers or levels of its service.
The Company does not impose fees for early termination with respect to certain of its service arrangements.
The Company assesses fees for additional network services as indicated in the Broadband Plans section under the Internet tab on the first page of the Company’s website. In addition, the Company is willing to consider and negotiate prices for customized additional network services requested by specific business customers if such services can be designed, developed and furnished in a commercially reasonable manner. If and when such customized services are developed and furnished, the Company reserves the right to adapt and provide them to other customers on a non-discriminatory basis so long as such subsequent provision does not entail disclosure of proprietary or confidential information of the initial customer.
B. No Unreasonable Discrimination
The Company does not unreasonably discriminate in its transmission of traffic over the broadband Internet access services of its customers. It endeavors to give its customers as much choice and control as practicable among its different service offerings and among the content, application, service and device offerings of edge service providers. When reasonable network management practices entail differential treatment of traffic, the Company does not discriminate among specific uses, or classes of uses, of its network.
The Company does not impair, degrade or delay VoIP applications or services that compete with its voice services and those of its affiliates.
The Company does not impair, degrade, delay or otherwise inhibit access by its customers to lawful content, applications, services or non-harmful devices.
The Company does not impair free expression by actions such as slowing traffic from particular websites or blogs.
The Company does not use or demand “pay-for-priority” or similar arrangements that directly or indirectly favor some traffic over other traffic.
The Company does not prioritize its own content, application, services, or devices, or those of its affiliates.
C. Privacy Policies
As indicated above, the Company’s network management practices do not generally entail inspection of network traffic.
The Company retains and stores certain traffic information (such as the identity of the customer using a particular IP address during a specific period) for time periods required by federal or state law.
The Company retains, stores and provides to law enforcement any traffic information requested pursuant to the procedures of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (“CALEA”), the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”) or other applicable national security or criminal statutes.
The Company does not collect, store or use traffic information to profile its customers in order to sell additional services to them, or for similar non-network management purposes.
D. Redress Options
The Company strongly desires to resolve questions, complaints and other problems of its customers and edge service providers in an informal and direct manner that satisfies all interested parties to the greatest extent practicable.
Customers and edge service providers that are not able to obtain satisfaction from the Company have the option of invoking the FCC’s informal and formal complaint procedures regarding Open Internet Framework disputes.
Whether you’re adding trees and shrubs, installing a deck, or putting up a new fence, BEVCOMM reminds you to pick up your phone before you pick up your shovel. Dialing before you dig isn’t just a recommendation — it’s the law. By digging without knowing where electrical, gas, cable TV, and other service lines are, you could harm yourself or others, or interrupt services to your entire neighborhood. You may even incur fines and repair costs.
To make it easier, a national hotline now exists. Just dial 811, and representatives will route your request to local utility companies, who will have professionals mark your lines. Call just a few days prior to doing any work, to allow time for them to mark your property. Then you can take on any project without compromising safety. As one of your local service providers, we thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Minnesota: Visit Minnesota Gopher State One Call and process your locate request online: http://www.gopherstateonecall.org/ or call 1-800-252-1166 or 811.
Wisconsin: Visit Wisconsin Diggers Hotline and process your reqeust online at http://www.diggershotline.com/ or call 800-432-7910 or 811.
Have you ever struggled to hear on regular telephone? It happens all the time to people who are experiencing hearing loss and it may indicate the possibility of future health issues. Fortunately, the state of Wisconsin operates the Telephone Equipment Purchase Program (TEPP) and it’s making a difference for thousands of people across the state.
TEPP is a Wisconsin state program that provides free vouchers to residents with hearing loss so they can obtain amplified phones in order to improve their utilization of basic telephone services. TEPP is administered through the Public Service Commission and funded by a Wisconsin telephone user fee known as the Universal Service Fund. Most telephone service subscribers have probably noted the “USF” charge on their phone bill but never knew its purpose.
Research shows that people with untreated hearing loss are much more likely to encounter dementia and balance problems – along with depression, anxiety, loneliness, and other anti-social behaviors. Talking on the telephone and listening to the human voice is one of the most powerful stimulants that keeps the brain active and helps delay or prevent cognitive and emotional decline.
The Americans For Better Hearing Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization with a mission of improving communication services to people with hearing loss and is a TEPP facilitator. ABHF works with TEPP to assess the needs of applicants, provide an assortment of special telephone equipment at no cost, and distribute additional information to raise awareness of hearing loss issues. The consumer with a hearing or other disability can apply to the program and receive telephone equipment costing $800 or more with a special ABHF fund that covers the state required $100 co-payment. There is no cost to the applicant.
The telephones offered are rich in features that enable those with a hearing loss to communicate over the phone. These features include hearing aid compatibility, amplified volume, enriched tone controls, speaker phone capability, extra large numbered keypads, loud ringer volume choices, caller ID enabled, and unique speed-dialing features. In addition, Bluetooth streaming neck loops and desk phones are available for those who mainly employ cell phones.
TEPP is available to Wisconsin residents with a hearing loss who have not applied within the last three years. There are no age or income restrictions.
People who apply for the TEPP program can expect to receive their equipment in approximately 5-6 weeks. No additional charges will ever appear on the individuals’ phone bill and the amplified phone becomes their property. In three years time, TEPP participants may reapply in order to receive technologically advanced equipment in order to address additional individual needs.
At Bevcomm, we believe it’s important for you to understand your rights and responsibilities with regard to the use of your customer information. For example, do you know what CPNI means? CPNI stands for Customer Proprietary Network Information, which is the information about your telephone usage collected by local, long distance, and wireless companies. This information can include the numbers you call and when you call them, as well as the particular services you use such as call forwarding or voice mail. Telephone companies collect this customer information in order to provide services and proper billing to you. We can only release CPNI information to persons listed on your account. New regulations require us to ask for Photo ID when you visit us in person, and for a password when you call with questions regarding call detail records. We must also authenticate each customer with qualifying questions before discussing account information. In addition, we are required to notify customers when a password or address of record is created or changed, or if there was an accidental disclosure of their information. Rest assured that Bevcomm is committed to respecting the confidentiality of your customer information. We do not sell this information to any outside companies. If you would like to make a change to your account or have questions regarding our policies, please call 1-800-473-1442.