Nuvera continues to expand fiber access

A lawn is marked up with warnings as Nuvera fiber cable is installed. The installations are a part of Nuvera’s ongoing Gig City project, which Zerbe said is operating ahead of schedule.

Due to a technical error, the 2023 Nuvera Progress story was inserted into the Progress edition. The article below is the 2024 Nuvera Progess originally intended for this year’s Progress tab.

NEW ULM — For fiber broadband company Nuvera, building their fiber infrastructure through the Gig Cities program has been a major focus for progression.

“It’s been a two-year journey for us,” Nuvera CEO Glenn Zerbe said. “We started the gig cities [with the] idea of investing in communities and customers in building out a fiber infrastructure for the next several decades across the southern part of Minnesota, and we’ve been busy at that.”

Zerbe said they have been diligent in their work to convert their existing network to end-to-end fiber connections. On top of this, they have also begun to add new communities to their fiber network. Zerbe said they are extending to places Nuvera sees as underserved by their current providers.

Looking inward, Zerbe said they have made plenty of progress in the past year with their employees and customer experience.

Nuvera CEO Glenn Zerbe stands in front of Nuvera’s downtown offices. Zerbe said a big part of their improvements in 2023 was expanding their online and e-commerce offerings, ensuring people could reach and get help from Nuvera in whatever ways they need.

“We continue to invest in our employees,” he said. “We’ve been growing our employee base over that time. We’ve been moving to a more digitally capable or accessible organization through E-commerce sites and working to improve our ability to serve customers. Not just in person, but also online, through chats, whatever that might be.”

Zerbe said all of these changes, additions, and projects have helped to move Nuvera forward in a different direction from what they’ve done historically.

“We’ve been a company who has grown through acquisition,” he said. “We’ve acquired different companies around the state that allowed us to expand our reach and customer base. Now we’re constructing new networks and in new areas. We’re building our future as opposed to purchasing some of our future. Today we’re back to organically growing across our footprint.”

Zerbe said going forward, continuing the Gig City plan and ensuring those impacted by the replacement to fiber have the internet access and benefits they need is a major focus.

“Job one is to get new and existing customers onto it the now largely constructed fiber assets,” he said. “That’s the most important thing we can do to improve, enhance, and deliver customer experience. To help communities progress in a competitive world where you really need to have network access to attract and retain people, businesses, and education”

Nuvera members stand with signs and candy buckets before the Sanborn Watermelon Days parade. CEO Glenn Zerbe said they increased their staff by 7% in 2023.

On top of this, Zerbe said they want to continue spreading fiber internet to underserved communities.

“To continue to identify areas of southern Minnesota that we can better serve,” he said. “We think there’s a tremendous opportunity in southern Minnesota. We’d like to be recognized as the most prolific builder and operator of fiber networks in southern Minnesota.”


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