The last of 145 government, public safety and education facilities was connected recently to Anoka County's 250-mile, high-speed Internet system.

Many buildings on the fiber optic network are activated and being tested by city, county and other end users. The last facility, a Head Start building in Coon Rapids, was hooked up to Connect Anoka County at the end of May, said county spokeswoman Martha Weaver.

A formal launch of the system is planned for this fall.

A federal grant covered 70 percent of the $19 million cost and the remaining $5.7 million was split evenly between the county and Zayo Bandwidth, which installed and owns the system. It will be much faster, have more capacity and save the county about $60,000 a year in Internet connection fees for 53 county buildings on the system, Weaver said. The county will pay Zayo $145 a month, she added.

Cities or school districts can select private vendors to run spurs off the trunk line to businesses and homes that need faster Internet service.

Jim Adams