Austin city council unanimously approved a franchise deal with MetroNet at its meeting on Monday.
City Councilor Jason Baskin said the goal is to have an operational level of service from MetroNet over the next two years.
Austin’s neighbors may have more reason to hang out in front of a screen. Another cable provider is coming to town.
“The more options we can provide to local residents, the better off everyone in Austin will be,” said Baskin. “You benefit from increased competition that benefits local residents because you will get better products, more competitive prices and be able to serve over 90% of the community. “
In a statement, MetroNet wrote in part that it was “proud to partner with Austin, MN.” He added, “We are grateful for the support and encouragement we have received from local authorities and look forward to providing the city with MetroNet’s future-proof fiber optic network.”
The company said it was already able to serve more than 2,000 businesses and Austin residents with the 2020 acquisition of Jaguar Communications. The partnership will bring choice to the rest of Austin.
Spectrum wrote in part, “We welcome competition and pride ourselves on our track record in building, maintaining and upgrading networks.” He also added his commitment to serving the city of Austin, MN.
Some neighbors have already decided to cut the cord regardless of more service or not.
“Most things are online anyway and the cable usually ends up being streamed, so I end up waiting for the shows I want to watch,” neighbor Tabatha Sanchez said.
Either way, city officials are hopeful that such a multi-million dollar move will give Austin a boost.
“Being able to increase the competition locally is a really big win for Austin,” said Baskin.
Most recently, MetroNet announced its expansion to Mason City last spring. Service installations began in Rochester in the fall of 2019, when Spectrum was the only option for cable, internet, and phone service in town.