CarverLink, an entity of the Carver County Public Services Division, is a publicly owned broadband fiber optics network installed in Carver County, MN (one of the Twin Cities metro counties) that became operational in the fall of 2013. The initial one-time construction costs for the CarverLink Network, which during construction was known as the Carver County Open Fiber Initiative (C.C.O.F.I), were 80% funded through an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (A.R.R.A.) Federal Grant with the remaining 20% contributed by Carver County.
The initial CarverLink Network consisted of approximately 89 miles of base ring fiber with 33 miles of lateral fiber. Since inception the CarverLink Network has been expanding both transport capacity as well as physical infrastructure miles and as of 2022 has transport capacity of approximately 600 plus miles throughout Carver County and surrounding local area.
CarverLink directly provides services to public entities and several community support organizations within Carver County including the county, cities, schools, college, townships, housing, transit and primary hospitals and medical clinics. CarverLink provides these entities with “dark” fiber and/or “lit” fiber services in the form of Internet.
In the private sector, CarverLink does 'not' directly offer or provide fiber connectivity to business or residents, but instead provides the opportunity for the initial service provider in our network, Metronet (formerly Jaguar Communications), to provide services to businesses and residents of Carver County. CarverLink also oversees the availability of dark fiber within our fiber network, which is available to qualified service providers or other entities using dark fiber for new opportunities (open access/open interconnect fiber). And through our open access fiber, services are also available from Arvig Communications, utilizing the CarverLink Network.
On June 28, 2022, the Carver County Board of Commissioners approved the CarverLink “Connect Up Carver” initiative.
The project leverages the County's existing CarverLink middle-mile fiber network to construct additional middle mile County owned fiber routes to serve defined geographical areas of Carver County, primarily rural in nature, identified as underserved and unserved locations. The County plans to collaborate in a public/private partnership with Metronet, a private service provider, to offer access to fiber connectivity (last mile) to all desiring residential and business addresses in the project’s service area. This project, along with other CarverLink projects, strives to provide universal fiber coverage opportunities to everyone in Carver County.
Funding for the project comes from Federal stimulus funds.
The coverage area within Carver County but outside the Connect Up Carver zones received designation for high-speed internet services from existing or proposed programs run through the Federal or State systems. You can view more information on these programs here.