With broadband, North Dakotans are building successful businesses right from the rural communities they love
There was a time when folks had to move to big cities to pursue their big dreams—but times have changed. Today, small towns in North Dakota have access to faster Internet than some of the largest cities in America.
The member organizations that form the Broadband Association of North Dakota, including United Communications, have laid over 40,000 miles of fiber across the state, enabling download AND upload speeds exceeding 1 Gig and empowering dreamers to build successful businesses right from the rural communities they love.
From a guitar instructor in Kindred to a medical spa in Williston, BAND member providers and their customers are proving that you don’t have to give up small-town life just to pursue your big-city dreams.
Small Towns, Big Dreams
In Kindred, Fargo native Steve Stine relies on broadband from MLGC to live-stream guitar lessons to aspiring artists around the world. As the face of GuitarZoom, Steve has amassed almost a million subscribers across two YouTube channels and become a mentor to some of music’s biggest stars, like pop sensation Shawn Mendes.
“My videos are getting viewed all over the world, all the time,” Steve said. “I’m able to do things that a lot of my friends that live in bigger cities can’t even do. They don’t have those speeds at their homes.”
A few hours north, in Edinburg, Katie Skoog has turned her passion for crafting into profit through Simple Life Pattern Company. Katie specializes in creating PDF sewing patterns for women, girls, and babies. And with high-speed Internet from Polar Communications, she is able to sell her patterns to an international market without ever leaving her home.
Simple Life Pattern Company currently sells PDF sewing patterns in Germany, Australia, Norway, Singapore, and more—and Katie can control it all from the comfort of her home in rural North Dakota.
“I love my little town of Edinburg,” Katie said. “Being able to work from home, on my computers, and do everything in my living room to support my family, that’s the best feeling ever and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
And on the other side of the state, in Williston, Victoria Claire is caring for her community as the General Manager of Destiny Med Spa. Drawn by the easy-going pace of small-town life, Victoria moved from the bustling metropolis of Las Vegas to western North Dakota in 2015. Today, she relies on broadband by Nemont Telephone Cooperative to communicate with patients and connect them with industry-leading health and wellness solutions.
“Having broadband internet is vital to our business because it gives us greater efficiency,” Victoria said. “We couldn’t operate without it.”
The Perfect Combination
Whether it was escaping the hustle and bustle, reconnecting with nature, or providing a better quality of life for their children, Steve, Katie, and Victoria each had their own reasons for relocating to rural North Dakota. Much like their motivation, their businesses run the gamut: from e-commerce to brick-and-mortar, from music to medicine.
Despite their differences, these three all have one thing in common: with access to high-speed internet, they do not need to leave the rural communities they love in order to run their businesses.
“For me, it’s the perfect combination,” Steve said. “I’m able to do what I do and send it out to the world, yet maintain this relaxed environment of living in the rural community.”
And they are not alone. Across the state, hundreds of rural residents are beginning new careers, working remotely, and building businesses, powered by broadband. They are living proof that, with the fastest Internet in America, you can do it all—all from rural North Dakota.