ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A local Internet company plans to play catch-up with advancements made in other states by eventually expanding high-speed service outside of the Twin Cities.

The vice president of technology at US Internet told Minnesota Public Radio News ( ) the company hopes to begin reaching out to other communities next year, after it finishes wiring in Minneapolis. The Minnetonka-based company wants to learn where the pockets of interest are through a pre-sign up on its website, according to Travis Carter.

"We're currently evaluating pressing on the gas a little harder, growing faster," he said.

Although the Web has come a long way in the past several years, many Minnesota residents want faster speeds at a lower price. One customer said he pays $48 a month for a 100 megabit connection, which allows rapid uploading and downloading of files.

US Internet also offers a $65-a-month 1 gigabit connection, which is capable of downloading HD movies in less than a minute. The company plans to enable 10 gigabit connections next year after tweaking equipment in its central office.

But because of the company's limited service area, many Minnesota residents currently have to turn to phone companies or cable providers.

CenturyLink has promised to deliver 1 gigabit service to the Twin Cities metro area within the next few years. Comcast offers its top residential speed, a 100 megabit connection, at $114 a month.

Other companies, such as Verizon, AT&T and Google, are working to build fiber networks in a handful of cities throughout the country. But those big companies are largely skipping over Minnesota.

"We range between about 20th and 23rd in the country in terms of connectivity and speed," said Margaret Anderson Kelliher, chair of the governor's broadband task force. "We actually have been increasing the number of people connected and the speeds. But other states are going even faster."


Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News,