MearsMears Helps Bluepeak Power Middle America’s Broadband Connectivity

Mears Helps Bluepeak Power Middle America’s Broadband Connectivity

Published on Back To Index

How Mears and Bluepeak joined forces to empower underserved communities with enhanced rural broadband access.

In this post:

A Commitment to Broadband Access

Strategic planning, speed-to-market, and collaborative relationships are pivotal in deploying high-speed broadband networks. Mike Harry, Chief Business Development Officer at Bluepeak, understands this firsthand.

From its origins in South Dakota, Bluepeak has emerged as a leading fiber broadband provider in the Great Plains and Midwest, focusing on rural broadband infrastructure. With a deep understanding of the importance of high-speed connectivity in small, underserved communities, Bluepeak is committed to ensuring equal access to services through its broadband equity access and deployment program.

That’s where Bluepeak’s transformative partnership with Mears comes in. Together our efforts to bridge the digital divide and expand rural broadband internet access are unmatched.

Bringing Connectivity to the Heartland

With a history spanning over 30 years, Bluepeak has established a strong presence in serving small towns in South Dakota and southwest Minnesota, catering to communities such as Rapid City, Deadwood, Worthington, and Yankton.

Throughout their operations, they have developed extensive knowledge and understanding of the unique needs and challenges faced by these regions. Notably, Sioux Falls, with a population of 196,000, stands as one of Bluepeak’s key markets, where they have made significant contributions to enhancing the connectivity infrastructure and empowering the local residents and businesses with reliable high-speed broadband services.

“Several of us on the leadership team grew up in small towns, and we instinctively understand that small, rural communities should have the same access to services as larger communities. Central to that notion is high-speed connectivity,” says Harry.

Bluepeak believes that comprehensive services, supported by robust fiber optic infrastructure, should be available to all communities, regardless of their size.

Expanding Horizons: The Journey to Oklahoma


 Bluepeak recognized the challenges posed by harsh winters in the Plains, leading them to look for expansion opportunities in warmer regions. Oklahoma emerged as an ideal choice, offering clusters of communities with 25,000 homes or more and a need for enhanced broadband equity access and deployment. Randy Beutler, Bluepeak’s Government Affairs Vice President, who grew up in Perry, possessed extensive local knowledge and connections in communication construction and fiber optic infrastructure companies, making the transition even smoother.

“We had been building fiber networks via regional clusters in the Dakotas, which kept our costs low, but we were on a mission to get fiber to as many families as possible, and that meant building year-round,” explains Harry.

The Power of Collaboration: Mears and Bluepeak

Bluepeak recognized the value of Mears’ local relationships and national network of partners in communication construction.

By leveraging numerous local connections, Mears and its partners established a nationwide network for Bluepeak.

“We had been working with the Mears’ Broadband team for years, successfully deploying fiber regionally,” said Harry. This led Bluepeak to expand their collaboration and work together in Oklahoma.

Mears played a vital role in facilitating communication, securing permits, and engaging with communities, ensuring smooth construction operations.

Although there are many facets to deploying high-speed broadband networks and fiber optic infrastructure, effective communication and collaboration with local stakeholders became the foundation of Bluepeak’s success in rural broadband expansion.

Building Trust through Local Relationships

By involving Mears from the project’s inception, Bluepeak was able to forge strong local relationships and gain the confidence of city councils and public works managers, ensuring broadband equity access and deployment.

“This is why we have Mears at the table at the very beginning of a project, during the planning phases, at the onset. We have them with us when we engage a new city to answer questions and to provide local expertise. The cost savings we realize by doing so is significant,” says Harry.

The Need for Speed: A Competitive Advantage

“Having a boots-on-the-ground presence with local know-how is a key reason why we’re able to come in quickly, secure customers, and build out our network,” adds Harry.

As a fiber overbuilder, Bluepeak brings competition to areas previously dominated by monopoly providers. To ensure financial viability, they aim to attract new customers to their network swiftly. Their partnership with Mears, leveraging their local presence and specialized knowledge, empowers Bluepeak to actively involve local authorities and stakeholders, streamlining market entry and accelerating network expansion.

By combining their expertise, resources, and commitment to local relationships, Bluepeak and Mears empower communities in the Heartland with enhanced connectivity.

Together, we are bridging the digital divide, driving economic growth, and ensuring that every corner of Middle America has access to the opportunities the digital age provides.

Broadband FAQ:

Q: What is rural broadband?

A: Rural broadband is high-speed internet access in underserved rural areas, which is often lacking due to lack of infrastructure and limited investment.

Learn more: e-Connectivity for all rural Americans


Q: What is fiber optic infrastructure?

A: Fiber optic infrastructure is a network of cables made of glass or plastic fibers that transmit data over long distances at high speeds. It is the backbone of modern high-speed internet and communication systems that you use daily.

Learn more: Optical Fiber Infrastructure


Q: What is the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program?

A: The Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program is a government initiative that provides funding for the deployment of broadband infrastructure in rural and underserved areas, with the goal of bridging the digital divide and ensuring equal access to internet services.

Learn more: BEAD Program


Q: How does Mears help with rural broadband deployment?

A: Mears provides safe and innovative solutions for fiber optic infrastructure deployment in including design, construction, installation, and maintenance. Our FiberFirst approach ensures fast, reliable, and cost-effective deployment of high-speed internet services in underserved areas.

Learn more: Mears Broadband Capabilities


Q: What are the benefits of broadband equity access and deployment for rural communities?

A: Broadband equity access and deployment can bring many benefits to rural communities, including improved access to education, healthcare, job opportunities, and communication, as well as increased economic growth and social connectivity.

Learn more: Internet For All

Recommended Posts

Back to Index
When Fiber Leads, the Future Follows

March 23, 2023 High-speed internet is intertwined with our everyday lives, from telehealth visits to working from home to streaming movies and games. For unserved and underserved communities,...

Learn More
Redefining What a P3 Means in 2023

January 27, 2023 The term “P3” is a widely known acronym for public-private partnership, a cornerstone of the broadband development process that offers mutual benefit to partners by...

Learn More
Four Ways Mears Helps Stem Rising Broadband and Wireless Construction Costs

August 18, 2022 Consumers and businesses across the nation are pressuring community leaders, internet service providers, and wireless carriers to build more robust and resilient telecommunications networks. The...

Learn More
Back to Top