Arvig’s fiber internet network now spans more than 13,500 route miles. But even as the company’s internet reach runs through Minnesota and beyond, the region’s local internet service provider isn’t forgetting about improving and sustaining services back home, including in Otter Tail County communities like New York Mills.

Arvig employee Elizabeth Pesola works at an Arvig store and is available to help customers throughout the region

As the company moves into its 71st year and the rest of 2021, ensuring network reliability and improving capability on existing infrastructure remains a priority.

Within the past two years, Arvig has upgraded its New York Mills-area network to DOCSIS 3.1 technology, which enables cable networks to deliver speeds of up to 1 gigabit-per-second (Gbps). At 1,000 megabits per second, the service is 10 times faster than the previously available fastest internet speeds available to area residents.   

The upgrades proved to be well timed, as the region braced for an unprecedented pandemic. As communities like New York Mills adapted to COVID-19 schools moved to online learning, in-person events went virtual, the local workforce adapted to telecommuting and people everywhere became more dependent on the internet and digital technology. Even so, communities such as New York Mills and its residents found ways to adapt, persevere and stay connected to their community.

During the 2019-2020 school year, Arvig began offering the Education Assistance Program for families of students in the K-12 students and college students. The program allowed students to receive free internet service to continue their education via e-learning while schools were closed during the pandemic.

In November 2020, Arvig talked with New York Mills-area business owner Sarah Carlson. Carlson discussed how she created her commercial design company, Theisen Design Studios, the importance of the internet to her business and what made it possible to do it all from New York Mills. 

Carlson said the internet has allowed her not only to build a strong business, but to be locally based and still have access to the same opportunities as bigger-city counterparts.

“The ability to be able to do what I love from the area I love to live in is everything to me,” Carlson said in a blog at “Without the internet, I would not be able to complete my work the way I can now. I use the internet to search for inspiration in the beginning phases of design, to power the software I need to communicate the designs to contractors and also to connect me to employees.” 

As our world increasingly relies on connectivity for work, education and entertainment, Arvig wants area residents to have the ability to connect with their families, friends, and communities efficiently and conveniently.

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